Wading Into Internet Marketing

Internet marketing has the great advantage of low barriers/cost for entry. For as little as $50 and about 15 minutes you can be serving up pay per click (PPC) ads, with very little effort. This makes it very attractive for companies to try it out.

But you can’t really just try it out – not if you want to make it work. You’ve got to make a commitment; Internet marketing is similar to traditional marketing in that it is difficult to predict what will work in your target markets and what won’t. As with anything else in business, there are no guarantees of success.

Broaden Your Approach

As well, you don’t want to pin your hopes on the one Internet marketing activity you chose to try, because if the results are not as you expected, you’ll be disillusioned. Just like traditional marketing, communicating your message in more than one medium and multiple times will increase the probability of making the sale. Thankfully many online and offline elements work well together to achieve this. Along with a commitment, investment in a number of upfront activities will greatly improve success:

1. Research into keywords and user behaviour – These are staples in all Internet marketing activities; know them well.

2. The advice of experts – You don’t need them on your payroll and you don’t need them on every campaign, but an expert can help you choose the right Internet marketing tactics and ensure everything is set up correctly. As well they can interpret the campaign results. Click throughs (number of clicks to an advertisement), bounce rates (number of visitors who leave your site after viewing one page) and exit pages (pages that users are leaving your website from) can be a bit daunting. You may be able to judge if results are good or bad but more importantly, do you know what action to take next in order to improve?

3. Correct set up of analytics tools – To properly set up filters and segment your website traffic statistics to get at the data that is most important to your business is not straightforward, especially if multiple websites are involved. Many businesses don’t set up tracking correctly and work with inaccurate data.

4. Landing page templates – These are pages on your site specific to a campaign or promotion that people arrive at when they click from a PPC ad, online ad or a print campaign. A template based approach lets you reuse your investment for future campaigns.

5. Email template – If email is on your roster- and it should be since it’s cost effective and can be highly targeted – invest in 1 or 2 great templates. With a base template, all you need to do is swap in new content each time you want to send to your list. All of your emails will be consistently branded and polished if you take the time to do it right.

Your Return on Investment

These set-up activities will pay off in the long run. Yes, it’s more upfront cost, but once it’s all in place, subsequent campaigns will be mostly execution and reporting. And you don’t have to include their full cost in the Return on Investment (ROI) calculation – you can amortize them over a year or more to more accurately represent the value of your campaigns.

Approach Internet marketing with the knowledge that it is a cost-effective, flexible set of options to reach your market. But know that just because you can measure results, there is no guarantee of good results. By making an investment in the foundation activities and taking advantage of the intelligence that measurement provides, each campaign teaches you about the market and your user’s behaviour so subsequent campaigns can be that much stronger – every time.

Commercial Real Estate Marketing Plan – Key Points to Win the Client

In giving a client a marketing proposal and strategy to sell or lease a commercial property, a number of things need to be well detailed in the proposal itself. Here are some of the main ones that should never be overlooked in your property proposal.

  • Why Should I Use Your Agency? It is an important question and hopefully you have a very clear idea of the advantages you bring to the sale or leasing process. Generic statements like ‘we know the market’, ‘we are the best agent in town’, ‘we have been here for 50 years’, and ‘we will serve you well’, just do not cut it in competitive markets. Consider why your real estate agency can stand clear and separate to other competitive agencies in promoting the property. Make sure that the client knows without any doubt why they should choose you as the agent of choice. Do not base your marketing point of difference on low commissions or agency paid advertising; that just does not work in this market and will put you out of business fast. Your agency must have something that is special and not copied from other agencies; it should also be so unique that you are the first choice as the real estate agent to take on the listing. If you do not have this clear mindset, then welcome to the world of the ordinary real estate agent that has to fight for every listing. Be separate than everyone else, create your point of difference and then market it well.
  • Happy Existing Clients & Recent Sales: Evidence of market activity and positive results will always come in handy as you attempt to advise the client on the right strategy to adopt for their property. In this property market with an abundance of available property stock, you should never take on overpriced listings. On average it is better to walk away from them and work with listings that are closer to the market price or rent. Your time is a valuable resource and must be protected from unrealistic vendors. A realistic property owner that works within the property market is far better than a property owner that is trying to set their own property market.
  • Prospective Buyer Activity on a Property: Telling the seller or landlord of your current and prospective sources of enquiry is a worthwhile part of your marketing plan. This lets the owner of the property know that you are really on the right ‘wavelength’ when it comes to locating tenants and or buyers. Some agents also adopt the strategy of getting a series of inspections done quickly with potential buyers from their database even at the early listing stage. It is surprising how many listings are sold or rented even before they reach the market officially.
  • What is Value? What is a Property really worth? Whilst exact prices and rents are hard to pinpoint, you should have a reasonable idea to within 5% as to what price or rent you could achieve with any given property. If you have no idea of the rent or the price then it is better to put the property to the market on the basis of ‘expressions of interest’. In that way the market will tell you what they think. With some very unique properties this is necessary given the limited pool of buyers that can participate in the purchase.
  • Methods of Sale and Timing: The main possibilities when selling a property are usually sale by auction, sale by tender, sale at a price, sale by negotiation, expressions of interest, trade or exchange. Knowing the best one to choose is the key to success. Putting the property on the market at a price is the less successful way of property marketing. The reason for this is the market will judge the property and try to reduce the price; if the property is too highly priced it will ‘kill’ any genuine enquiry before you even hear about it. One other fact needs to be remembered and respected here; a property will become ‘stale’ on the market after about 90 days. If it does not sell by then, it is better to remove it from the listing books for some reasonable time, to freshen the property for the next stage of marketing that you need to go to.
  • GANTT Model: For those of you that may not be aware, this is a way of graphically displaying activity. It is a common graphing process. It just so happens that it is a very powerful tool when you put it in a commercial property proposal for sale or lease. The display shows the client exactly what you are going to do for them and when.
  • Question and Answer: As part of your property marketing proposal, it is wise to have one or two pages that handle the concerns and questions of the client. From the preliminary meeting with the client you will have ascertained what matters concern them; you can merge these concerns and your answers into a Q&A format within your proposal.
  • Executive Summary: Always use an Executive Summary at the front of your document. It should be no longer than 2 pages, and bring all the main points to the front of the proposal. Adults generally do not want to read a lengthy document, so all your great work may largely go unread unless you can get the key points to a place that interests the client to read further.
  • An Exclusive Selling Agency Agreement: Why should you do one? The obvious answer is that you can best serve the listing and the client; you can also control the competition agents that may be chasing the same property. Open listings are not desirable and are essentially a waste of time unless you specifically have a purchaser that is a strong contender to take the property immediately. Occasionally I come across an agency that has a business approach of listing everything they can regardless of agency type; whilst this method can work, it does require you to have a very large number of listings and plenty of signs on properties. In only that way will you get the enquiry and conversion numbers that you need for KPI’s on commissions.
  • What are the advantages to a Vendor in having only one Agent when selling a Property? Tell the client why one agent is the best way to go. Multiple agencies working on the one property do not allow focused communication of offers and marketing coordination. Tell the client how you will connect with them on marketing, negotiation, due diligence, and property settlement.
  • Advertising: Yes advertising is expensive and it is still necessary, although you can be selective. You need to get the property message out to the market in the most efficient and direct way. How you do that is really property specific, although the conventional processes of newspaper marketing (expensive) are becoming less necessary. The internet is taking over as the main advertising channel in commercial real estate sales and leasing, and offers your client far better and cheaper ways of putting the property to the market. A key strategy for property marketing is to create 3 different levels of marketing for the client to consider (gold, silver, and bronze), as it gives them the feeling of control when it comes to spending on vendor paid advertising.

So these key points should be well handled in your property proposal. When you get the points clearly set out, the client knows what you can do and why they should choose you as the property agent of choice.

Tips to Boost Your Commercial Real Estate Career

When you start work in commercial real estate sales or leasing, there is a real temptation to do what everyone else does. That is a real danger in that most salespeople in the industry are not good role models. In fact some agents are really ordinary and they do not share information effectively for new people.

So to improve your chances of being a top agent, you can start to focus on the right things and those things that will build your market share and business. Here are some ways to do that:

  • Find out just who dominates the local property market as a top salesperson in your office and then watch what they do. Review their listings and market share. Drive around their listings and see what makes their listings and marketing different. Do they have more exclusive listings than open listings? How do they market property in this economic environment? What has their sales record been like over the last 12 months? How does their market share compare to other agents?
  • They are likely to have a solid database of local contacts. You will need to start this process for yourself anyway, so ask them what database software they use and if they could show you how they build their prospect list. How do they interact with their clients?
  • They may have been operating in the local property market for some time and this will have bearing on the activities that they undertake every day. They should however still be prospecting to maintain their position as a top agent. Ask if you can sit in on their cold calling time one day to see how they do it and what they say. Perhaps you could replicate their script to words that suit you and your area or property type.
  • Get to know your area really well, and that will mean property owners, business owners, vacant land, property developers, and professionals like solicitors and accountants.
  • Identify the top property locations in your area and inspect the properties for a real understanding of why those areas are favoured. Survey the factors that impact location such as transport, services, amenities, highways, roads, ports, and infrastructure.
  • Get to know the top property owners in the area. Whilst they will be dealing with many agents, you can connect with them now and start to build a level of trust for the time that you will have some property solution that you can offer them.

To rise to the top of your market, you simply need to watch the right people and practice what they do. Build your database from deliberate and directed effort; the property market awaits your involvement.

The Need For Spyware Removal on Your Computer

Should something infect the software like a pathogen or spyware, the person will shortly lose sensitive info or at worse have to spend plenty of money to have it fixed.

This may be done by ensuring that there are backup files stored in a secure place and setting up certain defense mechanisms from viruses and other threats. One such system is known as an adware spyware remover and people who only need the best should get it from Symantec. Symantec is an example of the number 1 service suppliers of products of business answers to tiny, medium and massive ventures. The purchaser can select a program to deal with a precise or multiple threats such as viruses, Trojan, spyware and worms. This individual can then use the card to make unapproved purchases or nick money from the account. Symantec’s adware spyware remover system is engineered to look for existing bugs in the system and then destroy it.

The package it offers can be employed by those at home or when working in the office.

Since new spyware and adware pop up common-or-garden, patrons who opt to purchase the system can be be assured that the PC is always secure as the company always launches product updates that may be done either manually or instantly. Those that are uncertain whether to purchase it can try it for thirty days free but pay before the expiration to keep on the services. Symantec unlike other programs does not need to be turned on to do a systems check on the PC. When the spyware or adware has been removed, the easiest way to guarantee it doesn’t return is by making a firewall. It has received good reviews from critics and Computer mags for the standard of excellence it has given in all of its products. As software corporations attempt to make the computers folk use safe common-or-garden, so too are the hackers and programmers who need to do the same for private gain. The individual can have chosen to be with the best or get something else but it is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to safeguarding the data stored in the PC.

The Life Cycle of Acquisition-Based Companies

A few years ago, I was discussing this phenomenon with the CEO of one of our clients. His company had grown almost entirely through acquisition, and for several years the company had experienced revenue growth rates exceeding 20%. However, the company had plateaued with respect to earnings, and looking at their overall performance it became clear to him (and to the Wall Street analysts that watched his company) that a great deal of money had been left on the table. Working with that CEO, I developed a model called the ACL Life Cycle. Understanding and using the ACL Life Cycle has proven enormously beneficial to clients depending on an M&A strategy for continued growth.

The ACL Life Cycle

The ACL Life Cycle describes the maturation process of companies who grow substantially through acquisitions and mergers. Using the ACL model, we can clearly identify the company’s current position. Knowing that position, and then looking forward at the company’s financial objectives through the lens of their business strategies, the specific actions that are needed become clear. Those actions can then be formed into an executable plan with associated performance measures, and managed through completion to bring the overall enterprise to heightened levels of financial performance. It is important for acquisition-oriented executives to understand the major phases and characteristics of the ACL Life Cycle.

Businesses who have survived one or more acquisitions and/or mergers are usually left with some degree of disintegration among their processes and systems. A company’s success in reaching the financial objectives of the merger or acquisition is directly correlated with the degree to which that disintegration has been replaced by a set of business processes and information systems that are common enough to generate enterprise-wide leverage. Implicit in that commonality is enterprise-level direction and guidance, manifested in company-wide business strategies and performance measures that align all of the combined business units. These businesses move, in this post-acquisition or post-merger environment, from an acquisition-based operating model to one characterized by shared services and a general commonization, to a stage where the enterprise “whole” really is able to become something greater than the sum of its business unit “parts”. It is more than the typical cost-reduction synergy anticipated in most of these transactions; it is a new platform for innovation, and an even higher level of innovation-based leverage.

Companies who experience substantive growth as a result of business acquisitions typically follow the ACL life cycle. ACL in this context stands for: Acquisition, Commonization, and Leverage. Many companies never leave the first stage of this maturity scale, and still more remain at the second stage. The most successful companies are usually those who recognize the importance of moving through all three stages, and consistently implement a structured process for doing so.
All companies experience pressures that push them toward decentralized operations, including idiosyncrasies of specific market niches served, the uniquenesses of isolated business processes, unusual needs of specific customer populations, and Uncategorized organizational entropy. At the same time, most of the companies that are successful in achieving the financial performance objectives established for the newly merged enterprise manage to overcome those challenges, electing to pursue the advantages of leverage, including:

  • broad synergistic brand recognition, enabling cross-selling, bundling of products and services, and improving revenue
  • interchangeability of business process resources, enabling the company to reduce its asset base
  • commonality and scalability in equipment / skills / facilities, facilitating innovation and growth into additional markets
  • higher utilization of business assets, reducing unit cost
  • lower levels of redundancy, resulting in reduced operating costs

These companies also typically find that maintaining compliance with financial reporting standards such as Sarbanes-Oxley requirements are enhanced as a result of strengthened internal controls.
Some companies make a deliberate decision to remain “holding companies”, which simply buy and sell diverse businesses that have only marginal relationships with one another. These conglomerates prefer to manage the portfolio through buying and selling components, and allowing the leadership teams at the individual companies to manage ongoing operations from strategy through execution. A few of them have been quite successful, and this article is sometimes not as directly applicable to those at a corporate level. It works very well, however, for their major divisions. Companies that benefit most from understanding the three stages of the ACL Life Cycle are those companies who have decided to focus on a single core industry – Aerospace & Defense, Automotive, Chemicals and Polymers, Textiles, Electronics, Telecommunications, Consumer Products, Medical Equipment producers, Healthcare providers, and Financial Services providers are all good candidates. 

The Acquisition Stage of the ACL Life Cycle

Companies in the Acquisition Stageof their life cycles are usually focused on revenue growth, and capturing market share. They are characterized by high levels of autonomy in management, in the reporting of site-level data to the corporate parent, and in the design of their business processes and systems. Companies who remain in this stage for long periods of time following acquisitions usually act as holding companies, with the corporation allowing individual divisions or sites to operate almost as independent companies with their own P&L, strategic plans, and market-facing branding. Often, companies in the Acquisition stage lack a common vision of the future of the overall business, and tend to operate at cross-purposes among the operating units. They sometimes even compete against one another for the same customers. They share little operating information, making it nearly impossible to coordinate and deploy “best practices”, effectively distribute work load, utilize general market intelligence, and grasp other elements that could provide corporate-wide leverage of the businesses’ assets and resources. A few industry-specific examples here should help to illustrate the situation:

Manufacturing companies in the acquisition stage are usually characterized by redundancies in raw materials, equipment, staffing, and other business resources. Because manufacturing companies are relatively material-intense, a great deal of cost can be tied up in raw materials, work-in-process, and finished goods. Since acquisition stage companies have so little visibility between business units, there is little opportunity for them to reallocate these assets in order to use them effectively. As a result, the most costly resources remain the most underutilized. In addition, acquisition-stage companies have not centralized the management of even commodity-level business processes, such as finance, human resources, and information technology. This lack of centralization leaves additional inefficiencies in place around accounting staff, employee benefits provider subscriptions, business software applications, data centers, and computing equipment. 

Telecommunications companies in the acquisition stage also have unrealized opportunities for greater leverage from their business assets, but these more often take the form of redundancies in network equipment, network coverage, retail outlets, partner agreements related to the sale of their products, and interconnection agreements with other carriers. In addition, acquisition stage telecom companies often have a substantial amount of unrealized leverage in the lack of integration among the data bases and information of their various divisions that could enable shared service operations for commodity-type processes such as billing and cross-selling of products and services. Like manufacturing companies, telecom companies in the acquisition stage also typically have unexploited opportunities around the consolidation of data centers and related equipment and staffing.

Healthcare providers in the acquisition stage usually find opportunities in different areas of their businesses, because of the differing cost structure of their operations. The bulk of their costs and their opportunities while in the acquisition stage of maturity in the ACL Life Cycle are related to employee salaries & benefits, and to medical supplies and drugs. It is less common for these businesses to be able to effectively share inventories and equipment, since the nature of their business is rooted in community health care that requires local service provision. The opportunities that do exist, which are typically not exploited well in acquisition stage health care companies, are related to centralizing commodity type business processes such as finance, human resources, and information systems, and leveraging required service and supply procurement across the enterprise. 

Financial Services providers, such as banks, brokerages, credit unions, financial planning companies and tax & audit services exhibit yet another cost profile, with the largest elements typically including personnel and occupancy costs. In these businesses, like health care provision, being where the customers are is critical. The companies’ ability to understand the changing demographics and match up their branches as well as their skills to the targeted customer base is often a differentiator between the companies that succeed and those that fail. Financial services providers who are still in the acquisition stage of maturity in the ACL Life Cycle often do not have the commonality in fundamental business processes and systems to readily reconfigure their operations to meet the changing needs of their marketplace. Their acquisitions or mergers have enabled them to grow horizontally, typically into adjacent markets. However, lacking an adequate foundation of commonality in processes and systems, there is substantial money left on the proverbial table as a result of ineffective resource deployment, and delays in the reporting of operational performance data that would enable the company to be more responsive. These companies also fail, in their acquisition stage, to take advantage of their larger purchasing power to gain leverage around purchased services spanning items as diverse as employee health care and branch-level office supplies.   

The Commonization Stage of the ACL Life Cycle

Companies in the Commonization Stage of their life cycles have usually awakened to the value of focusing on Return on Net Assets (RONA) and Return on Invested Capital (ROIC). In order to begin to capture improvements in these areas, companies in the Commonization Stage often turn to shared service models of operations for selected business processes and systems. Strategies and performance measures begin to crystallize around common themes that span multiple operating units or divisions. Among the areas of focus for a shared service model in this stage are Finance (A/R, A/P, General Ledger, and Financial Reporting), Human Resources (Payroll, Benefits, and Employment Records), and Information Technology (Computer Hardware, Network Administration, and selected Software Applications Management). Some companies in the Commonization Stage also move Procurement and other aspects of Materials Management to a shared service model, enabling the corporation to more effectively leverage its broadest possible purchasing power.

Manufacturing companies in the commonization stage of maturity typically have shared services in place for commodity types of business processes such as finance, human resources, and information systems management. As they advance through the commonization phase, some of them also begin to pull together a common platform for procurement, encompassing at least their most costly and common raw materials. A few in this stage reach a point where their data center
operations are completely centralized, and may even be outsourced to a third party like CSC. Toward the end of the commonization phase, centralization of work deployment and capacity utilization as well as process quality emerge as companies begin to deploy common processes and systems in customer requirements management, enterprise requirements planning, manufacturing execution systems, and distribution management systems. 

Telecommunications companies in the commonization stage of maturity also typically have shared services in place for commodity types of business processes such as finance, human resources, and information systems management. As they advance in maturity through this stage, telecoms also become aware of the available leverage in centralizing the management of some of their most valuable assets. However, unlike the manufacturer’s raw material focus, for telecommunications operations those elements are things like spectrum licenses, network equipment, connection agreements, partner agreements, distribution centers, and retail outlets. Centralizing the management of those assets to identify overlaps and redundancies enables telecoms to emerge from the commonization stage with much more effectively leveraged business assets, providing broader market coverage with a lower total asset base and generating much higher earnings on that consolidated foundation.

Healthcare companies in the commonization phase of maturity find substantial benefit in the commonization and centralization of their commodity type processes and systems.  This is primarily because of the impact on cash flow and earnings when the employee base is reduced through shared services, and employee benefits and supplies are both leveraged in terms of the broader purchasing power of the company following a business acquisition of significant size. However, there is also an especially rich opportunity available to healthcare companies in the commonization stage that stems form the leverage available related to insurance coverage – not for the employees directly, but covering the potential liability of the company itself. This category of cost is typically about the third largest slice of the pie, and significant reductions there can translate quickly to a meaningful earnings impact. 

 Financial services providers in the commonization stage of the ACL Life Cycle, like healthcare providers, often find substantial benefit in the commonization and centralization of their commodity type processes and systems. With roughly half of their cost of operations wrapped up in employee salaries and benefits, there is an opportunity for meaningful impact on cash flow and earnings when the employee base is reduced through shared services, and employee benefits and supplies are both leveraged in terms of the broader purchasing power of the company following a business acquisition or merger. The next significant area for financial service providers in the commonization stage is the capability for rapid reconfiguration of the business based on enterprise-wide visibility of operational data and market intelligence.

The Leverage Stage of the ACL Life Cycle

Companies in the Leverage Stage of their life cycles are usually embarked on a fierce drive toward adding real value. They are relentless in their efforts to fully utilize the assets of the entire corporation, driving out redundancy and its associated costs. They are then able to pivot on the fulcrum of those more agile processes and systems to implement innovations that foster organic growth resulting in greater market share, greater revenue, and improved earnings for their shareholders. Leverage Stage companies also establish a structured and repetitive process of assimilating new businesses, gathering and incorporating market intelligence into company-wide strategies, and innovating on the basis of these new combinations to capture additional market segments. These companies are characterized by coordination and centralization of major business functions such as the planning and allocation of R&D, production work, inventories, raw material purchases, personnel, and factories & equipment. They centrally manage a broad spectrum of common business processes and systems, including customer requirements management, product data management, enterprise requirements planning, manufacturing execution systems, and logistics management. They are constantly changing, evaluating and configuring business assets to meet future market needs, acquiring and developing new businesses, and shedding assets that no longer fit their evolving model.

Manufacturing companies in the leverage stage of maturity typically have shared services in place for most of the critical business processes of their company, having reached beyond the commodity level processes and into those which deliver the most value to their customers. Examples include sales & marketing, order entry & customer service, capacity planning and management, production scheduling and shop floor control, and distribution requirements planning. As they move through the leverage stage of the ACL Life Cycle, some of these companies leverage the commonality of their processes and systems to produce innovative new products and services, identify additional market opportunities, and develop industry-changing relationships that reach through their supply chains. 

Telecommunications companies in the leverage stage of maturity also have shared services in place for most of the critical business processes of their company, including the seamless provisioning (often called “flow-through provisioning” by industry insiders) of all telephonic services to customers stemming from a single telephone conversation responding to an individual inquiry about a service. This type of capability is only enabled when all of the information from what have historically been disparate data bases is available in an intelligent form through excellent systems integration, based on exceptional levels of commonality and strength in enterprise-wide business processes.

Healthcare companies in the leverage stage of maturity have typically discovered and implemented leverage-based improvements in their major cost structure elements as a result of enterprise-wide information visibility flowing from systems integration and centralized management of critical business processes. Health care companies generally also have uniquely challenging business conditions related to three other areas where leverage level operations can be a powerful tool. 

The first of these areas is employee safety. Most health care organizations are spending a substantial amount of money in this regard, with training and documentation of company polices and safety-related practices requiring an increasing amount of company attention. The integration of systems and commonization of processes in a leverage stage health care company offers opportunities to more quickly incorporate internal best practices, externally imposed business requirements, and feedback about lessons learned across the entire health care organization regardless of geographic dispersion. Commonization and centralized management here can result in substantially lower cost, and more importantly, substantially higher and more uniform levels of employee safety. 

The second area is bad debt. The integration of customer data, and effectively interfacing a common set of enterprise-wide processes and systems with outside service providers such health maintenance organizations and insurance carriers, substantially reduces the amount of bad debt in leverage level health care companies. 

The third area, and perhaps the area of richest opportunity, is the area of patient medical information. This area is tricky because of legislation related to patient privacy and guidelines recently established for the maintenance and communication of patient medic
al information. However, one of the fundamental challenges faced by health care providers is the absence of available medical history, particularly when a patient is admitted to an emergency room or urgent care facility. Particularly when a patient is unable to respond to questions directly due to an incapacitation illness or injury, time can literally mean life or death. Making all necessary information available to the physicians and other health care professionals involved as quickly as possible is extremely important. When critical business processes and information systems for the management of this information are brought to an effective level of commonality, the rapid dissemination of the needed information can be greatly improved, while patients’ expectations around the privacy of their information are still met. 

Financial services companies in the leverage stage of maturity, like health care companies in some ways, must balance the needs of differing local customer geographies against the advantages of centralized management in critical business processes and systems. There is real value in allowing some latitude to local branch officers and customer-facing staff such as loan officers to accommodate the unique circumstances involved in specific cases. However, these companies often find that a significant advantage of the leverage provided by enterprise-wide commonization of processes and systems is the ability to see the nuances of differing markets at a corporate level, and recognize broader trends among those different markets more quickly and clearly than they could before. This improved visibility, in turn, enables management to reconfigure their service offerings, redeploy resources such as sales dollars, and organize sales campaigns for those specific markets more quickly than they could previously.  

The best of these companies, regardless of what industry they occupy, utilize their common platform of processes, systems, and information to understand the needs of their customers in unique ways, and fluidly translate those needs into the features of their products and services. A few, at the very top of the game, come to understand the customers’ needs even before the customer recognizes them, and when necessary they reconfigure their entire business to meet those needs, gaining unassailable competitive advantage. The enterprise-wide leverage they achieved as a result of carefully and skillfully handling the post-merger or post-acquisition integration of processes, systems, and data provided the platform from which innovation launched them to new levels of performance. Examples could as easily be provided for companies in pharmaceuticals, retail operations, or the food & beverage industry. The lessons learned and the techniques vary a little, but the principles are the same.

Go on a Shopping Expedition With Gold Coast Car Rentals

It would be practically impossible to think of a holiday, without indulging in a little retail therapy, and if you have to come a shopper’s paradise like Gold Coast, there is no way you can leave without at least a few bags. With cars for rental, Gold Coast becomes easy enough to traverse.

Now, when you come to the Gold Coast, you really need to think about and plan your shopping trips, because there is simply too much for you to choose from. Perhaps, the first thing you should do when you get into town is get yourself Gold Coast car rentals. This way, not only will you be able to get to all the places you want to visit, but also get your purchases back to your hotel.

As mentioned before, the choices on the Gold Coast are extensive and these range from high-end shopping to local markets. It is up to you where you want to shop and what you want to shop for. The local markets include those held at Surfers Paradise, Burleigh Heads, Broadbeach and Coolangatta. Other popular markets include Tamborine Mountain, Robina Town Centre, Canungra Country Market, Paradise Point Art and Craft Market.

With cars for hire, Gold Coast shopping can be much more fun, because you can shuttle from branded shopping to street side, with ease. Perhaps one of the first places you should head to is the Pacific Fair Shopping Centre, which is home to some of the best retailers in the country. You can find almost anything and everything you need, under this roof and at reasonable rates as well. If at any point of time, you feel hungry or thirsty, there are several restaurants, bars and cafes.

The Oasis Shopping Centre is another place, worth visiting, because here you will find over 100 stores, which deal in specialty products. You will be able to find gifts to take back home, latest trends and fashion, including clothes and accessories as well as a supermarket. The best thing about this place is that you will also find a range of services, such as a bank, a post office and salon.

If you want a slightly more stylish shopping experience, then Harbour Town is the place for you. This is where you will find all the big brands, including, end of season lines of renowned designers. The shopping center also boasts of the country’s premier purpose built outlet shopping experience.

Laparoscopic Surgical Instruments

Pacing the Trocar in its correct spot is one of the most crucial procedures of laparoscopic surgery for your medical instrument. Many crucial problems have been reported as a result of incorrect placement of laparoscopic instruments. You need to make positively sure that you are placing the trocar correctly.

Their is so many different types of trocars on the marketplace, some of the most easiest to use are the trocars with the safety mechanisms with robust blades. While basic handling is the same for most trocars, it is important to understand the different functions of the different types.

Laparoscopy approach, When pressing to see if the space can be entered you should view the area through another trocar to be positive that the space can be entered safely. Make sure the patient is free from abdominal wall vessels, darkened the room and view the area under transmitted light. Hold the trocar perpendicular to the abdominal wall. Stretch your finger along the length of the trocar while using your other hand to provide support and prevent accidentally going in to deep. twist and trun the trocar, while maintaining even force until the tip passes through the wall. When using your medical equipment try not to press to hard. Hard pressure may shrink the internal space, increasing the risk of hitting an organ and causing damage. Once the tip is passed through adjust its direction so that it points to an area of open space and press it in further. Locking the safety mechanism will help decrease the risk. However some trocars do not have a lock mechanism safety. You need to be especially careful when inserting this sort of device. A malacar trocar is the best for this operation. It has a self-securing lock you can use during the procedure.

The Positive Aspects of a Travel Nursing Career

If you are happy with your job as a nurse but feeling stuck in the particular location you are working in then why not live like a nomad for a while and try a traveling nursing career on for size? As a nurse who is willing to relocate you can help people while at the same time indulge your passion for seeing the world. Whether it is beaches that are your thing, mountains or islands, working in a traveling capacity allows you to fulfill both your professional goals as well as your personal ones all at once.

In the pursuit of a nursing career you can break away from the confining feeling of working at the same place day in and day out. You can rediscover and reconnect with why you became a nurse in the first place. You can focus on the profession you love and the patients that need your care. There is also freedom in this way of life, a level of flexibility and financial success (leading to financial stability).

In order to become a nurse willing to move around you can look online to find nursing agencies that work with nurses to connect them with travel opportunities. Take the time to do a search over the Internet. Look for opportunities that are a good fit for you. There are many different options and the key is to find the one that fits your criteria for work. Read through what each nursing agency has to offer you in terms of benefits, advantages, guidelines and rules. Take the time to compare and contrast each agency. Your number one goal should be to find a reputable nursing agency. Many of these agencies are not reputable so do some thorough research before you sign a contract with an agency.

The pay for a travel nurse is very lucrative. The pay varies from one agency to another. Rates are competitive because each one of the nursing agencies wants to sign on as many nurses as they can. The hourly wage for a travel nurse is dependent upon your specialty, the region you are working in and the facility you are working in. As a general guideline you can expect to earn in the range of $22 to $40 per hour. Some agencies offer a sign-up bonus that can range anywhere from $500 to $5,000.

Some of the most obvious benefits of a nursing career include free deluxe corporate housing, a flexible spending account, financial success, and travel reimbursement. There is also free dental, health, disability and life insurance.

This is only the beginning of why a nursing career can be a dream could true for a dedicated nursing professional! To learn more about the opportunities that wait you as a nurse do an online search right away!

Property Guide To Alicante

In the south-east corner of Spain between Valencia and Murcia, is Alicante province. Dubbed the ‘California of Europe’ by some, this part of the Spanish coastline became known as the Costa Blanca or ‘White Coast’ because of its 200kms of pristine sandy beaches and crystal clear waters.

Prior to the tourist boom, Alicante was comprised mainly of fishing villages, wine and citrus farms. However all that changed when the first air routes to the Valencia region opened up in 1957. Today, Alicante is a tourist mecca with first-rate infrastructure and leisure facilities, receiving around five million tourist visitors annually, making it an excellent place to invest in holiday letting properties.

Already fairly populous with nearly two million permanent inhabitants, Alicante has over the years become home to a thriving community of foreign retirees and lifestyle immigrants, many of them British or German, attracted by the healthy Mediterranean climate, unspoilt beauty of the lush, rocky coastline and Uncategorized salt marshes, as well as the fresh local seafood. Today, English is probably the second-most commonly-spoken language in Alicante after the native Valenciano.

Traditionally divided into a more affluent north and less well-heeled south, since the Spanish property boom, such demographics have become meaningless. All along the Costa Blanca, you’ll find luxury beach resorts, spacious villas and modern housing developments, as well as marinas filled with yachts.

The province has not lost all of its original charm though – there are still quaint Mediterranean villages with charming cobbled streets, ancient churches and historical architecture to be found; and the old quarters of many towns such as Altea and Javea continue to act as major drawcards for their historical value and cafĂ© culture by day, and their restaurants and bars by night.

The capital, Alicante, is a genteel city with an international airport – the main point of access for the province – as well as many historical buildings, tree-lined boulevards, parks, palm-fringed beach and eye-catching harbour with marina.

Other places worth mentioning are Benidorm – the tourist capital of the Costa Blanca with first class entertainment facilities and pleasant micro-climate; Torrevieja -with its great golf courses and bird sanctuary in the Uncategorized salt marshes nearby; and Javea – a lush enclave of exclusive cliffside villas.

Property prices in Alicante are generally 3% higher than the Spanish national average, but buyers can still get good value for money if they do their research. Currently real estate sales in Alicante tend to centre around major tourist centres where holiday rental yields are still healthy, although bargains can still be found in the less-crowded outskirts.

Second home buyers and retirees tend to prefer quieter, less crowded or developed areas such as Benitachell, Denia and Javea. However, this less commercial aspect has begun to take on a certain cache, so that property here is not as cheap as one might expect.

Still, though, for health, lifestyle and quality of life, the Costa Blanca is hard to beat and property in Alicante is well worth considering.

Do Addicts Really Recover?

In my line of work as addiction professional, I’m often asked “Do people with addiction get better?” The question may sound simple but it’s not really that simple. There are so many facets to addiction. The chemicals are but one aspect. There also are the addict’s personality attributes, attitudes, lifestyle, and values – all contributing and feeding the addiction syndrome. For most people, the obsession by the addict to consume chemicals is the most salient aspect of addiction. This becomes their focus of attention when asking the question, “Do addicts really recover?” Meaning can they give up drugs and become “normal” people again?

After a closer look at addiction, one begins to realize that the chemical abuse is intimately tied to the person’s mental health, lifestyle, and personal values. For example, it is hard to ignore an addict’s criminal activities related to supporting his drug habit or an alcoholic’s scheming and manipulating behavior to hide his alcoholism when the addicted or alcoholic is trying to pursue “recovery.” Can people “recover” from addiction and still carry on with these criminal or anti-social inclinations? What are the chances of a recovering person remaining abstinent while continuing to sell drugs or maintaining his connection with friends who are involved in criminal activities? Can a recovering alcoholic remain sober while bar-tending?

My point is that there is a “quality of life” a recovering addict or alcoholic must maintain to achieve a certain level of healthy living. For some this may mean pursuing counseling or following medication regime to control psychiatric symptoms. For others, a complete lifestyle change may be necessary to re-align personal priorities and internalize pro-social values. With addiction, old associations — people, places, and things – can easily trigger a relapse to old “bad habits.” There is a common belief among recovering persons that “picking-up” drugs or any substances is the last step in the relapse process. Long before the actual substance use, the person has already relapsed in his thinking – reflected in noticeable changes in attitude, values, and over-all behavior.

To go back to the original question: “Do addicts really recover?” The answer is a relative yes. For some who consider their addiction as a disorder of the whole person and take a holistic view of recovery, they aspire more than giving up the chemicals to include a reinvention of themselves, psychologically, socially, and spiritually. Others are content with minimizing the harmful effects of illicit drug use but still resort to alcohol use. Still others give up drugs but continue to have dysfunctional patterns of coping or residual manifestations of personality disorders.

Do Addicts Really Recover?
Dr. Fernando B. Perfas