8 tools for Project Management in 2014

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Posted on 19th June 2014 by Jeff Rogers in Marketing

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Management of projects requires the effort and time of project managers. Identifying the right project management solution can be critical to the success of the team and company. When a company has more than one project under it, the problem of managing each project becomes complex.  For the proper planning of the project and for the proper execution of the various steps or stages in the project effective management is necessary. There are many tools which will help in making project management an easy task. The templates are one such tool which will ensure that the project is running smoothly and your company will be able to finish the project at the proposed time and with the calculated budget.The following eight tools are integral parts of a top project manager’s arsenal.

comindware

  1. Project Charter:  A project has to have a formal start. The project charter gives the project manager formal authority to carry out the activities to complete the project. The charter should state what the business needs are for the project. Justification for the project and what the outcome of the project will be, what results will be achieved upon completion of the project.
  2. Scope Statement: Is a document that defines what the project will accomplish, it is a document that the project team can go back to when projects lose focus and start to drift away from original scope. Scope statements include: project requirements, boundaries, constraints, assumptions, objectives, schedule milestones, cost estimates, defined risks and completion criteria. They also include the initial members of the IT project management team including the organization of the project team members and the key stakeholders and other project stakeholders.
  3. Mind Mapping.A brainstorming activity often used during the planning stage of a project. Breaks a project down into smaller more manageable parts by diagramming the project. Mapping starts with the main idea in the center with branches leading out from the center listing major components of the project.  Smaller branches break off from larger ones as the parts become minor in comparison until all the branches contain tasks that can be assigned to someone.
  4. Work Breakdown Schedule (WBS) *PMBOK  Organizes the activities required to complete the project from major parts, down to manageable parts, down to the task level. It is used to organize the outcome of the mind mapping activity into a manageable table.
  5. Productive team meetings: Meetings are necessary but have no value if they do not have a clear purpose! It’s important to have an agenda and for it to be distributed prior to the meeting. State the goal of the meeting in the agenda. Is the meeting a discussion, demonstration, presentation or brainstorming?
  6. Task Maps. Like this format to record meeting minutes.  Task map list the tasks discussed and who is responsible for each task along with a completion date. Important to note that person must have the authority to accomplish the task.  They must also be reviewed and updated by the project team.
  7. Assessing risk levels by identifying potential problems and looking for alternatives is a brainstorming activity during the project planning stage.  Assessing the probability of the risk occurring and the level of response needed to mitigate the occurrence. With solutions like Comindware project management tools you can easily deploy the right tools the team and keep everyone up to date on status and progress no matter where they are.
    Risk Level Scale assesses values from unlikely to highly probable
    1 = Very low/ unlikely (Impact some minor adjustments occur)
    2. Low / somewhat unlikely
    3. Moderate / neutral
    4. High / somewhat likely
    5. Very high / very likely (Causes project failure)
  8. Team Building Skills – Projects don’t succeed if a project team can’t work together.  You can check out Agen Bola for some of the latest Futbol updates to help provide your team an outlet for work.Important to learn team members strengths and weaknesses.  Get to know each other, schedule a working lunch early in the project. Have regular face to face team meetings if possible.

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SEO Guide Part 2 : Link Building blueprint for 2013

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Posted on 18th April 2014 by Jeff Rogers in Marketing

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SEO Guide Part 2 Link Building BluePrint for 2013:

In our readings on important updates for 2013 SEO guidelines we have been seeing more and more discussions on areas to stay away from when it comes to keeping your site healthy. The makers of SEO Powersuite have put together a Link Building Blue print for 2013 that talks about the 5 things you must avoid and include in your strategy. We have started to implement SEO PowerSuite tools to help us monitor and reshape our strategies and can say it has been quite effective. They have just released their SEO guide Part 2 on things to watch out for in 2013 when it comes to SEO and SEM. Below is a quick excerpt where they discuss the value of social signals and how you can manage those across multiple resources.

What’s coming: It’s not a secret that search engines are willing to deliver the most useful and interesting content to users. How are they going to measure what’s more or less interesting? One of the very significant factors they may rely on even more in 2013 is the amount and strength of social signals – tweets and retweets, Facebook likes, shares, mentions, etc.

Now, going back to your backlink profile, can you say that most of the domains linking to your site are socially popular? And what about your competitors?

Get prepared Get prepared: Analyze social signals for your backlink domains — which ones get most social “love” from users? Highlight these websites and work more to get backlinks from there.

To quickly get the social data for all your backlink domains, create a project in SEO SpyGlass; then go to Preferences => Preferred Backlink Factors and select those social media factors that are most important for your niche…. read more here.

 

 

SEO Link Building

You must be able to look at and know what your competitors are doing and how they are using backlinks in order to gain top positions in the search engines. At Link Assistant they have developed some great tools to help you easily and effectively monitor and manage your sites along with those that you are competing against.

What’s coming: Google has revolutionized link building practices, but some things remain the same – the competition analysis is going to be even more complicated and important in the post-Penguin era.

Get preparedGet prepared: Discover and analyze backlink profiles of your top competitors:

  • What anchors and keywords the competing sites are using?
  • Do they still acquire sitewide links?
  • Are they leveraging social media to rank better than you?
  • Do they have most backlinks from old or new domains?

Important: You shouldn’t blindly follow the steps of competitors, define the tendencies and trends of their link building process and make use of it, for instance:

  • Pay attention to the anchor text distribution, you may also need to have more anchor text with brand names and less with exact match keywords. You may also need to have more links pointing to internal pages of your site (as opposed to the home page)

  • If your competitors are more active in social media, produce more viral content, start social media campaigns, launch contests – do virtually everything you can to grab more tweets and likes.

  • Take a closer look at their backlink domains, spot the good ones (relevant content, old established domain with high Alexa traffic index) and target them to get links… read more

The above infographic provides a great roadmap to help you plan your 2013 SEO strategy. You can follow more at our Google Plus account or Twitter.

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Maximize your blog

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Posted on 18th April 2014 by Jeff Rogers in Marketing


We recently started to write about using blogs to help increase your sites performance in the search engines. It is estimated that approx. 80% of all services being bought on the internet are found through search engines. So this is why it is so important to consult with and implement good and ethical Search Engine Optimization techniques. So what are some good examples. We have found that using blogs is one key and growing use of how you can increase your sites exposure and search engine position. You can see that blogs that have specific niche content like Miss Gullible can help separate your blog from the other millions that are created every month.

As you will read in almost every book, website, and ezine on increasing your internet exposure content is what the search engine spiders are looking for. For example creating a niche blog on avoiding online scams can create a buzz and drive unique visitors to your site. So when they do find your site how can you maximize your chances that you will be indexed quickly. You must also make sure that all of your pages on your site can be found as this will add value to your site. Indexing of multiple pages on your website will make you more attractive to search engines and help your customers to find products and services that you may not otherwise list on your main page. So if you have a personal blog that you use as a personal journal or have a passion about a particular subject like avoiding investment schemes on the internet that can really add value to your readers then forge ahead and you may one day find yourself on the top of the blogging world.

Proper web design for your online business

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Posted on 15th April 2014 by Jeff Rogers in Marketing

If have ever wondered how people make money by selling online through auction sites such as eBay you are not alone. There are hundreds of books and seminars that you can attend that will teach you the secret of the pros. What they don’t tell you is that the market is very competitive and if you are not careful you can invest a lot of money and not make a dime. You will pay these seminars several $100′s of dollars to learn stuff that you can get for free on the internet.

We have been researching various sites that cater to online ebay sellers to help create customized solutions. They provide a great resource on the do’s and dont’s of online selling. Start out small, and then grow your business from there. Don’t try and get to the $100K mark your first month, as it will take time to evaluate the market and see what items sell the best, and more importantly which items are more profitable. If you are selling 1000 purses a month, but only making $2 per item, you are spending a lot time for little pay off. Research and use those free resources, and who knows maybe one day you will be holding your own seminars.
Starting with a solid Web Design you can look like a big name company and start creating customer loyalty. I started selling odds and ends online a few years and thought I was going to make a serious business on it but found the inventory and pricing was so unpredictable that it was tough to see how much I was actually making. Trying to set up my online store I realized there was more to the solution than what I had at my disposal. If you are serious about selling online then you need to consult with experts in the field that can help with design and getting your website seen by the search engines and customers. Always look at multiple revenue streams that can help build your business. Again these revenue streams can be significant if you have the traffic. So I am still developing my business solution and slowly growing our customers through blogs and various other traffic sources.

Getting your blog seen

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Posted on 15th April 2014 by Jeff Rogers in Marketing

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Growing your blog can be a hard buy enjoyable task. There are more and more people coming online to start their own blogs to communicate with family, to use as an outlet, or to create their own presence online. Blogs are very easy to start and very inexpensive. If you can type on a keyboard then you can have your own outlet to the world for anyone to read and comment on. Many new bloggers need to understand that they are opening themselves up to the entire world and if they produce something that does not agree with the masses they may not like the feedback they receive through comments or other blog posts. Trying these blogs one can see the diversity on what you can do online.

BitDefender helping to protect your PC

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Posted on 13th April 2014 by Jeff Rogers in Marketing |Technology

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Bitdefender for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

If you own a PC or laptop then you have probably been the victim of a virus, malware, or phishing attack. Just recently Microsoft announced there was a patch needed for their Internet explorer browser that could potentially expose your computer to hackers allowing them to take control of your computer. Even the most popular social network sites have been the target of hacker and have used these sites to spread malicious viruses and malware to unsuspecting computers. Many of the software solutions that are avaiiable on the market today do an OK job of protecting your computer and personal information but there is always room for improvement. One of the negatives of having security tools installed on your PC is the speed you loose as these programs have to run in the background constantly monitoring for potential intruders. The Bitdefender Total Security has been ranked number one in antivirus technology and operates on it's own without having a popup every five minutes.

Right now you can enter to win a Dell computer that is already loaded with BitDefender. The rules are simple and can be found here. I have been hit by several viruses and the amount of work and frustration that it causes cannot be expressed in words. We also purchase a lot of things on the internet and with BitDefender Safepay you can now shop with more confidence knowing that your information is more secure and encrypted when you buy something online. They offer parental controls, social networking protection and more. With a more proactive solution that is working to help you avoid potential attacks and threats your online experience can be more enjoyable. 

 

Bitdefender

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10 things to help your small business grow

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Posted on 13th April 2014 by Jeff Rogers in Blogging |Marketing

1. Let Someone Else Go First

If you’re a small business, you don’t want to be putting your money on a horse that may or may not have longevity. To top it off, solutions should already be tested out fully with someone else’s money and time. The key is to jump in at the very end of the early adopter phase.

2. Keep the Bottom Line in Mind

Every piece of technology you buy, should help you increase your bottom line somehow. Whether it’s through efficiency or through expanding services, it’s got be able to pay you back. Just because something is faster, the latest version, or prettier than what you currently own, doesn’t make it a good buying decision. You might even intimidate customers who have to learn the new systems.

3. Use Open Source

Open source technology can be comparable in features to private software packages. There is no support for open source, but there are also no licensing fees.

4. Set Up Social Networking and Forget It

It is important to have an account on Twitter and Facebook, amongst many other sites. The account is free and can generate massive attention and buzz for your offerings. However, you want to schedule your tweets and automate as much of this as possible to cut down on the time spent doing it.

5. Convert Paper to Digital

A paper newsletter put online can save you tons of money on paper and mailing costs. What you may not know is the same is true with coupons. You can convert those to electronic coupons and the customer can download them off your site, saving your distribution and printing costs.

6. Get full color brochures

Partner with established vendors like UPrinting. For your image and brand you want to have something tangible that you can handout and even mail out to customers that talk about your business and products. UPrinting business brochures printing solutions can help you get the quantity and price you need. So whether you are doing a small run to test the market or need a large run for growing sales you can get them done professionally and fast.

7. Cut Down on Travel Costs

You can set up VOIP lines and teleconferencing to avoid the expense of traveling when you have more than one business office or clients in different locations.

8. Read the Reviews

Before buying any piece of technology check the reviews it got. It will help you decide whether it’s going to work for you or not.

9. Automate Your Help and Customer Service Areas

Some of this can be done simply by putting up an FAQ online for the questions that most people ask, and thus cutting down on phone calls. Other times you may want to put in a help desk system.

10. Leverage the WWW

Use the free resources that are available to help network,Brand, and create loyal customers to compete with the bigger companies. The social networking frenzy is only growing and being able to create your spot in space will only help grow and retain your customers.

 

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SEO Toronto experts for your business

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Posted on 12th April 2014 by Jeff Rogers in Marketing

Using highly ethical companies that know the various channels in social media and can use them and other tools to enhance your search ranking will not only get your goals achieved sooner but will help you focus on your primary targets of driving revenue. Cutting Edge Web is a SEO Toronto company that has continually created value helping small to large businesses bring their business online and growing their presence through various of online marketing channels. Through link building, pay per click, and organic search optimization techniques they can provide a well rounded approach to help you develop and implement your Marketing 2.0 plan.
People are using their smartphones to research and buy online more today and that number is growing. The smartphone has changed the way that people interact with their friends and family and now companies are trying to figure the best way to market to these consumers without being to intrusive. Whole new channels and solutions are being built by SEO/Web design companies and marketers  where  companies can target and reach a new set of customers wherever they are  at anytime of the day. SEO companies that can provide high end video services and integrated web design can add another dimension to your online branding campaign. So lets say someone is on their iPhone and  searching to purchase snow tires online you  can have your mobile site show up in their top search lists which can  help drive traffic to your site through specific mobile searches.  Companies like Cutting Edge Web understand the changing social landscape and can help your business leverage the technologies of SEO, video, and web design so that no matter where your customers are at you can keep them engaged and grow your brand presence and interaction.

In order to obtain top results on search engines through search engine optimization (SEO) and increasing your traffic flow, it is always a good idea to consult with an experienced online vendor who specializes in these services.  More targeted traffic means more sales. There are hundreds of SEO/ Advertising agency that have a single view on how to drive traffic and their sites are quite sophisticated, but you need results.

Using Android Spy App

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Posted on 11th April 2014 by Jeff Rogers in Marketing

We use our cell phones to communicate just about everything we do in our life. From updating our facebook page with the latest dinner we just ate to tweeting about a funny looking dog that crossed our path. We can check in, share, and read the latest news all in our android phones and all this data can be revealing about a person. There has been speculation about the various sites and carriers keeping tabs on this information and putting to the test our privacy. For parents that have teenagers being able to know what they are talking about can be a double edge sword. I am all about giving them freedom to grow and learn, but with all the stories about kids using their cell phones for inappropriate pics, texts, and emails.
The big concern is teenagers texting and driving and while we tell our kids not to do it and put the phone away it still happens. There are various solutions like the Android Spy App that can help parents monitor their kids phone activity through texts, calls, and data. The key is to have the conversation with your kids about having this on their phone and if they are doing appropriate things with their phone there should be no issue. The app can be installed and runs silently in the background and can be set up to send updates at various intervals. You can log into an online account and view the data and have a conversation if what you see is not what you and your kids agree upon. Remember that a kids having a cell phone is a privilege and not a right.

RevLocal and your search engine success

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Posted on 10th April 2014 by Jeff Rogers in Marketing

There is more focus and emphasis on local search engine news.  Companies are looking to  local SEO  content experts to help them identify more local opportunities to grow their business. At RevLocal they offer a host of solutions for local businesses to incorporate social media, blogging, and SEO in order to meet your local demands.

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Your health matters

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Posted on 8th April 2014 by Jeff Rogers in Marketing

There are more and more stories and products that are talking about antioxidants and their role in helping the overall health of your body. Antioxidants are a molecule that basically help reduce the oxidation of cells in the body. Oxidation reactions can produce free radicals which in turn creates a chain reaction that can damage and even kill off cells. Products like Nopalea which is a dietary drink supplement comes from the Nopal cactus that has been used by Native Americans for centuries in helping in all types of ailments. This fruit contains potent antioxidants that have been refined to help the bodys overall health. Nopalea helps aide the body in fighting off inflammation which is an important distinction and something that you should look at when comparing other products. They are currently offering a free trial of their product and all you have to do is pay the $9.95 shipping and handling. There have been over 3 million bottles sold to date so you will be able to find several reviews and customer testimonials as to the efficacy of this product. As always we encourage our readers to their research on any product they intend on purchasing and make sure that you are well educated to make this best possible decision for your particular situation.

Nopalea has been proven to help the body reduce inflammation which may lead to:

  • Improved joint health
  • Relieve swelling in your muscles
  • Help in reducing pain associated with inflammation
  • Improve digestive tract issues due to inflammation

Using a SEO Toronto firm to help blog

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Posted on 7th April 2014 by Jeff Rogers in Marketing

One great way to increase your Social appeal to your intended audience is by posting and getting seen on high profile blogs. A specialized SEO Toronto firm like 9thsphere.com has the tools and resources to help in your quest. Also, getting your customers to search and write about your product is priceless. There are some new widgets that you can place on your blog that will actually learn the behaviors and search patterns of your customers. But you have know how to get that traffic searching for your site and by using various methods, some as simple and publishing your own marketing articles, to getting others to blog about your site can help. One of the sure fire ways to search and hire an expert in the field.

Keeping the memories

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Posted on 7th April 2014 by Jeff Rogers in Marketing

Weddings are a special time for the bride and her family. It’s just as important to the groom and his family too. So with a wedding day being so important to so many people, wouldn’t it be important to make sure you plan the perfect wedding? There are just so many things to plan and worry about for a wedding, so getting some extra help is always nice. More and more brides to be are getting their bridal shower invitations done online to save money and time. Planning all the details can be a lot of pressure so letting those with the expertise on various areas can make all the difference in the world. You will also want to plan on budgeting for photobooks that can be used to commemorate the event and possibly be sent out to family on your anniversary to have them share in your marriage.

A couple of things you will have to do before your wedding is to get flowers and music arranged for your wedding. You want the bride to look as good as the wedding cake too, so there is a couple of more things to plan for. What about you’re wedding guests? There won’t be any there if you don’t send out the wedding invitations and the list just goes on and on. There are just so many things you have to plan and be prepared for, when you try to put together that perfect wedding. Don’t go into this alone and get some help from the online wedding planning sites and see how easy it is to use their free interactive planning tools. There you can look at the cost of a photobook from companies like Photo Productions who specialize in professional created photobooks that would normally be available to photographers. Most will have a online registry system in place to get you through the next wedding you plan to be a part of. Congratulations to the couple and you will be hearing those wedding bells before you know it!

A new laptop bag to stay mobile

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Posted on 6th April 2014 by Jeff Rogers in Broadband |Marketing

Students always have a tough time browsing through the end-less plans provided by broadband service providers, to find a suitable plan that will not gulp too much of their budget, yet help them stay connected to the virtual world faster. The major problem faced by most of the students is that they are unsure about the period of stay at a place. Here are certain things that you must ponder before you get set for the deal.

The first, and the foremost thing that you must consider is the period of stay at a place. This helps you to decide between a contract deal and a non-contract deal. If you are quiet unsure about a full-twelve months stay at a place, then it is always better to skip off the option of twelve months contracts and save yourself from the cancellation fee later. Most Mobile Broadband providers are now offering discounted or free laptops to those that sign up for a 1-2 year contract which could be attractive to man students. So of course you will need a new laptop bag to keep you in style while you are traveling around. But while opting for a non-contract deal, the packages may be more expensive and there could be an activation fee. Besides, you may not get a free modem or a router. On the other hand, if you are going to stay for a period beyond twelve months, some broadband providers offers you student broadband packages.

Another useful option is to choose a mobile broadband option. As long as you have a Mobile USB sticks and USB modems, you can access the internet by plugging these into your laptops. This has become a well-known method of accessing internet these days. Students can use it wherever they go, to the coffee shops, to the students’ house or to home when they go. Another asset with the mobile broadband is the lack of line rental. Also, no unwanted tensions over the cost sharing with your room mates. But, mobile broadband comes with limited download options like 3GB to 5GB.

Reputable Car Dealers

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Posted on 5th April 2014 by Jeff Rogers in Marketing

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People need cars to carry out their business. People move around from place to place and personal cars have become very important over the last few years. Anyone who owns a car cannot say that it is for leisure. People often dream of buying a good car that will serve well. It is almost everyone’s desire to have a prestigious car that improves one’s image. The car model is one that is considered to be sleek and stylish and many people in the world have acknowledged that it is there dream car because of its exquisite and wonderful looks. Every industry has several players who try to compete with each other. The best way to compete is by offering quality services or products. It takes several years to build a good reputation. As for the automotive industry, the issue is the same and anyone who wants to buy a car will lookout for a reputable dealer. If you end up with at online you can be assured of quality cars and professional customer service. The cost of buying a brand new car is quite high and this why most people try to get alternatives that suit them best. If you do not have money to buy a new car, you have a choice of getting quality used cars from such dealers. This has really helped most people who had been struggling with selling their cars privately in the past. There is also the aspect of confidence that you will not be defrauded since you will be dealing with a reputable company with not middlemen involved. Most people who are looking for any model of a car ill get them here. There are so many people who have landed themselves good deals and bought prestigious cars that are as good as new.

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What to look for in a probate lawyer

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Posted on 4th April 2014 by Jeff Rogers in Marketing

All legal procedures are quite demanding and you might end up being disappointed and frustrated altogether. Hiring an expert in the field of law will not only save you time but also your energy. In the recent years many people are looking for options to help them make a secure plan for their future in regards to their property. This has also necessitated upgrades in the systems and the protocols that are followed. However, the basic principles still remain. A good probate lawyer should be in a position to clarify how every stage works. As soon as the property owner dies, the first and most important step is to make the transfer of ownership to the beneficiary without any hitches. This can be a very smooth process as long as there is not one who challenges the will. However, should there be a person that wishes to contest the will, the process becomes quite strenuous and takes time. The sensitivity of these matters requires a lot of professionalism so as to make the whole process les painful. There are so many families that are suffering since there was no will left behind. In such a case, the matter is handled by the probate court and every effort is made to ensure fair distribution of the property left by any deceased person. In most cases all the dependants will be considered as well as their dependency level. A good arizona probate attorney will advise you based on previous experiences on the best way to ensure that your family is secure. A will is a legal and binding document and you need to be well advised before drafting one. There are some laws that govern alterations to the will and this are also areas that you should ask about. It is important to get a good lawyer that you will have confidence in.

Using sport marketing to grow your brand

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Posted on 1st April 2014 by Jeff Rogers in Marketing

Companies are looking for new and creative ways to attract new customers and more importantly target the younger demographics. The fastest growing sports are those where young talented kids and teens are setting the pace and creating a whole new way to interact with their fans. With a targeted sport marketing firm you can align your brand with up and coming stars in their respective sports like hockey, X games, and other fast growing sports. Having them as a spokesperson or just a face on your brand to help drive consumer awareness can be a competitive advantage and capture a younger more influential market.

Using 3 ring binders for your backups

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Posted on 28th March 2014 by Jeff Rogers in Marketing

When you are creating backups of your programming documentation you need to make sure that you have both a digital and hard copy. Most programmers will use 3 ring binders to keep their hard copy and then mark the dates on them to make sure they know which dates and revisions are kept in each one. The other key benefit of keeping a hard copy of your coding work is that should you experience a hard drive failure you will be able to see your work. We have heard horror stories of people losing their work when a hard drive crashes or their computer is infected with a virus. Three ring binders are simple and a very cost effective solution.