All That You Would Like to Know About Payday Loans

Upon getting information about an upcoming school science fair and the need to consider a topic of interest, many students will typically have no idea where to get started. While the science fair is typically a common occurrence in any school at any grade level, there are different types of topics that should be taken a look at depending on the age of the student. After first taking a look at the many different categories of science projects, you will be able to locate a suitable choice of topic to take to the next level.There is a wide variety of categories that fall under the types of science projects that can be chosen for a school science fair. These include biology, chemistry, physics, microbiology, biochemistry, medicine, environmental, mathematics, engineering, and earth science. While you may not have yet learned very much in any of these categories, don’t be afraid to see what each one entails. Taking a good look at your interests will allow you to focus on the right direction to take.Many resources are also available for those who are unsure as to the topic they are wanting to use to create their science projects. If you take a look at the topics that fall under the biology category, you will likely notice that there are topics that deal with plants, animals, and humans. For those who are in 2nd grade or 3rd grade, an interesting topic may be to determine if ants are picky over what type of food they eat. While this topic might not be of interest to an 8th grader, it is certainly something in the biology category that an elementary school student would enjoy.Along with the biology category, a high school student may want to take a look at diffusion and osmosis in animal cells as this would be a more appropriate topic for the grade level. A student in 6th grade would be more advanced than an elementary school student, but not as advanced as a high school student. At this middle school grade level, a topic of how pH levels effect the lifespan of a tadpole may be of interest.Whichever resource is used to locate a topic for science projects, it is always a good idea to consider the grade level of the student prior to making a selection. It is always assumed to be best to have a project at an appropriate level in order to keep the attention of the student and provide a fun and enjoyable learning experience.

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Social Anxiety Disorder – Causes and Effects

Is it any wonder that a society such as ours, one that is exploding with every kind of technological advances imaginable, advances that permeate every area of our lives, is plagued with what has been labeled Social Anxiety Disorder! Recent studies affirm the fact that with all of our psychological problems, social anxiety or as some label it, social phobia, is now the third largest of the psychological problems within our technologically advanced society. Rather than having a society panic attack over hearing this news, it would better suit us to take a closer look at what Social Anxiety Disorder actually is, and its causes and effects upon the individuals so afflicted.A simple definition of Social Anxiety Disorder is the fear involved with people interacting with other people, a fear that they don’t measure up to another’s social standard. As you look at your own social life, you no doubt have had occasional moments or times of stress or even a mild panic attack in a particular situation. However, Social Anxiety is different in that it doesn’t just happen once in a while; it’s something that is permanently with you and affects many of your daily routines. It causes this person to become extremely stressed, unnaturally focused on self in that they feel they are the center of attention; all eyes are upon them, judging them, and waiting for that fatal foul-up!Although the person with social phobia may realize that this is an exaggerated, unrealistic scenario, in his present state, he is unable to control this barrage of self-depreciating thoughts about himself. Because the person’s reactions are to “freeze up”, withdraw and fail to interact, they are often times labeled as being bashful and having low self-esteem. This is a serious mistake because it prevents them from getting the proper treatment.I hope this gives you a little insight into social anxiety part two I will go into it a bit further…until then remember you don’t have to put up with social anxiety disorder any more….You can say goodbye to all your anxiety problems.Even more deplorable, studies show that over 90 percent of Social Anxiety Disorders are misdiagnosed as manic depressive, schizophrenia, panic disorder or other related disorders. The treatment must be specific to the proper social disorder in order for it to be effective. And Social Anxiety Disorder definitely requires proper treatment!Social Anxiety can develop from a number of sources and at any age.. Studies have shown one source to possibly be genetics. From the study of identical twins having identical genes, they have found that both have developed Social Anxiety Disorder. On the other hand, studies of fraternal twins, twins that don’t have identical genes, have found the twins don’t share the Social Anxiety Disorder.Other causes of social phobia may be from what is called a learned response, either from parental or significant others in their lives who themselves experience stress and anxiety disorders or who, by their strict expectations, cause the child to give up in defeat. Yet another cause may be from early childhood experiences interacting with teachers and other children in school, not conforming to the mold of cultural expectations, thereby causing them to see themselves as unworthy and not belonging.Finally, back to our opening sentence, our technologically exploding, advanced, stressful society we now live in, in my opinion, is contributing to the increase in Social Anxiety Disorders. By destroying the sense of family and community which in the past has provided a much needed sense of togetherness and security, we now have over 15 million stressed individuals diagnosed as anxious, stressed, lonely, phobic people, desperately needing help to get themselves back into the active, productive life they were meant to have.The good news is that while the causes and the effects of Social Anxiety Disorders may vary with each individual, there are many excellent treatment programs designed specifically to get to the heart of the phobia, find the cause, and with competent professionals applying their expert techniques, design the program that will bring the results of a life restored.

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The Importance of Music Education in the Public Schools

As educators, it is our responsibility to nurture in our students the knowledge and abilities that they need in order to be balanced and productive members of society. While mastery of the basic subjects such as reading and writing, math and the sciences are of course essential to obtaining this goal, many so-called extra-curricular subjects — especially music — are also vital in this effort. For its many tangible benefits, music should be maintained and promoted as an essential component of elementary and secondary education.

For centuries music had been considered an irreplaceable part of a proper education. Early universities taught it as one of the quadrivium or four essential pillars of education. Albert Einstein himself was a skilled musician and frequently attributed his discoveries in physics to the musical training he received.[1] Modern educational politics, however, have often marginalized music education to a luxurious and expensive “extra” program that is often cut when negative budget issues are met. Education administrators too often mistakenly believe that music education is a misguided effort to channel students into a career in music or, at best, an expensive “play time” that does little for their educational development.

If only those administrators could learn the incredible benefits of music education on students, they might change their minds. Recent studies have indicated that adolescent music education produces greater observable physical development in the brain,[2] and an average of 27% higher math scores,[3] 57 points higher SAT scores[4] and a 46% increase in IQ scores.[5] In addition to these documented benefits on intelligence, music education has been shown enhance learning in all other subject areas by improving their study skills, receptiveness to instruction, social and emotional development. Students that participate in school band or orchestra also experience the lowest rate of gang activity and substance abuse. Most importantly, the cognitive and behavioral advantages of music education are shown to affect all students, regardless of their ethnicity, “at-risk” status, or socio-economic background.[6]

These findings alone should guarantee the inclusion of a robust music program in every primary and secondary school, but the benefits don’t end there. Adolescent music education has been shown to be a reliable predictor of success in college and professional life. It has been reported that approximately 22% more applying music majors are admitted to medical schools than any other major,[7] and that “the very best engineers and technical designers in the Silicon Valley industry are, nearly without exception, practicing musicians.”[8]

My parents raised six boys and one girl, all of whom participated heavily in music during their primary and secondary school years. While I was the only one of us to become a professional musician and music educator, each of my siblings have gone on to successful careers including three doctors, an architect and an engineer. I feel greatly indebted to the many music educators that taught my family and me and am saddened to hear that the opportunities we received are not always available to children. I have made it my personal challenge as a music teacher and choir director to individually reach each of my students and instill in them the skills and appreciation of music that bring such joy to my own life. As a public school teacher, I find great fulfillment knowing that the skills I teach them in music classes and ensembles will not only enable a life-long interest, but will also help them in many other important areas of their lives and contribute to their success in life.

The great violin teacher Shinichi Suzuki said “The purpose of [music] education is to train children, not to be professional musicians but to be fine musicians and to show high ability in any other field they enter.”[9] My experience has taught me that music education uniquely enhances learning and prepares children for successful lives. Along with all the other subjects taught in elementary and secondary schools, I hope that I can bring the world of music into the lives of as many children as I can. In doing so, I know I will make our society just a little bit better by making a big difference in their lives.


[1] Brian Foster, “Einstein and his Love of Music,” Physics World (Jan. 2005), .

[2] G. Schlaug, L. Jancke, Y. Huang and H. Steinmetz, “In vivo morphometry of interhem ispheric assymetry and connectivity in musicians,” Proceedings of the 3rd international conference for music perception and cognition (Liege, Belgium, 1994), 417-418.

[3] Amy Graziano, Matthew Peterson and Gordon Shaw, “Enhanced learning of proportional math through music training and spatial-temporal training,” Neurological Research 21 (March 1999).

[4] College-Bound Seniors National Report: Profile of SAT Program Test Takers. The College Entrance Examination Board, Princeton, NJ, 2001.

[5] Rauscher, Shaw, Levine, Ky and Wright, “Music and Spatial Task Performance: A Causal Relationship,” University of California, Irvine, 1994.

[6] “Benefits of Music Education,” MENC: The National Association for Music Education, 2002.

[7] Lewis Thomas, “The Case for Music in the Schools,” Phi Delta Kappan (February 1994).

[8] Grant Venerable, “The Paradox of the Silicon Savior,” as reported in “The Case for Sequential Music Education in the Core Curriculum of the Public Schools,” The Center for the Arts in the Basic Curriculum, New York, 1989.

[9] Shinichi Suzuki, Nurtured by Love, second ed., Athens OH: Senzay Publications, 1983, 79.


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Introduction to Real Estate Marketing Services

Are you a land developer, property developer or home builder who’s looking for a new way to generate leads to sell your property? Have you already tried using the internet, but couldn’t produce a decent ROI, or simply didn’t generate enough traffic to your listings? If this sounds like you, then this article is exactly what you need to help your real estate business move forward. Through the use of internet marketing strategies, I will show you an effective method to generate real estate leads at an affordable rate. So let’s get started!Overview – How the Real Estate Marketing Services WorkThis real estate marketing system that I am promoting, is heavily focused on all areas of search marketing, from search query to ad click to lead generation. How it works is amazingly simple, and can be summed up in a few steps. The first goal is to build a website that focuses on one main topic (ex. New Homes for Sale in Toronto). This is where you will promote your property with images, layouts, videos, amenities, etc. Next, you will need to generate to this site using Pay-Per-Click (PPC) or Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Finally, once you have a site to promote your property, and visitors that are looking for a property with your specifications, you will need to persuade them to contact you or book an appointment. So let’s take a look at how to achieve these three things.Step 1 – Building a Real Estate Marketing WebsiteThe first thing you will need is a targeted website that promotes your property through images, descriptions, lot layouts, etc. Oddly enough, the best performing websites are usually only one-page, and offer limited information on the property, but enough to keep people interested. The goal here will be to provide potential buyers with information on your property (ex. location, size, etc.), but keep them wanting more information (ex. price, custom building options, etc.). Ideally you will want to optimize this page for a single keyword phrase that is most important/relevant to your property. For example, if you have land for sale in Austin, TX, you will want to make sure you use the phrase ‘land for sale Austin, Texas” as many times as possible throughout the website. This way you can optimize it for search engines.Step 2 – Generating Real Estate TrafficOnce you have a website build and populated with information about your product, you will want to generate targeted traffic. You can do this through a wide variety of ways, however the two most standard options are PPC and SEO (as mentioned above). PPC is a method where you would pay per visitor by showing your ad on search engines for particular keyword phrases (ex. every time someone from Austin searches “land for sale”). Google AdWords is the most popular platform used to obtain PPC traffic. The next option is to use SEO, which takes much longer and is often complicated, but the benefit is that the results are long-term and not dependent on your budget, and if you’re willing to learn basic SEO and put in the time, you can do it for free. The key to generating traffic is focusing on keywords that potential buyers would be searching for. This way you know that you are finding people who are most likely interested in your property.Step 3 – Getting Real Estate LeadsSo now that you have a website displaying your property, and traffic going to your site, you will want to convert that traffic into leads. To do this, you will want to start by making it easy for potential buyers to contact you. Ensure that your page has multiple contact options (ex. phone number, email, contact form, social media links, etc.). Next you will want to give people a reason to contact you. Try enticing them with a catchy Call-to-Action (CTA) such as “Fill out the form to download our property layout” or “act now to get our special payment offer”. Finally, you will want to make sure that you omit some information about your property so that the prospect does not have every question answered, otherwise the amount of leads you get will drop significantly.By now you should understand the fundamentals of how you can use search engine marketing to promote your property and gain leads from prospective buyers. Whether you choose to use PPC methods and get instant traffic for a capital investment, or whether you choose to do it on your own using SEO, the key is to link all three steps together so that you can decrease the cost per visitor, while increasing the rate of lead conversion.

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Life Insurance: Back to Basics

Life Insurance: A Slice of HistoryThe modern insurance contracts that we have today such as life insurance, originated from the practice of merchants in the 14th century. It has also been acknowledged that different strains of security arrangements have already been in place since time immemorial and somehow, they are akin to insurance contracts in its embryonic form.The phenomenal growth of life insurance from almost nothing a hundred years ago to its present gigantic proportion is not of the outstanding marvels of present-day business life. Essentially, life insurance became one of the felt necessities of human kind due to the unrelenting demand for economic security, the growing need for social stability, and the clamor for protection against the hazards of cruel-crippling calamities and sudden economic shocks. Insurance is no longer a rich man’s monopoly. Gone are the days when only the social elite are afforded its protection because in this modern era, insurance contracts are riddled with the assured hopes of many families of modest means. It is woven, as it were, into the very nook and cranny of national economy. It touches upon the holiest and most sacred ties in the life of man. The love of parents. The love of wives. The love of children. And even the love of business.Life Insurance as Financial ProtectionA life insurance policy pays out an agreed amount generally referred to as the sum assured under certain circumstances. The sum assured in a life insurance policy is intended to answer for your financial needs as well as your dependents in the event of your death or disability. Hence, life insurance offers financial coverage or protection against these risks.Life Insurance: General ConceptsInsurance is a risk-spreading device. Basically, the insurer or the insurance company pools the premiums paid by all of its clients. Theoretically speaking, the pool of premiums answers for the losses of each insured.Life insurance is a contract whereby one party insures a person against loss by the death of another. An insurance on life is a contract by which the insurer (the insurance company) for a stipulated sum, engages to pay a certain amount of money if another dies within the time limited by the policy. The payment of the insurance money hinges upon the loss of life and in its broader sense, life insurance includes accident insurance, since life is insured under either contract.Therefore, the life insurance policy contract is between the policy holder (the assured) and the life insurance company (the insurer). In return for this protection or coverage, the policy holder pays a premium for an agreed period of time, dependent upon the type of policy purchased.In the same vein, it is important to note that life insurance is a valued policy. This means that it is not a contract of indemnity. The interest of the person insured in hi or another person’s life is generally not susceptible of an exact pecuniary measurement. You simply cannot put a price tag on a person’s life. Thus, the measure of indemnity is whatever is fixed in the policy. However, the interest of a person insured becomes susceptible of exact pecuniary measurement if it is a case involving a creditor who insures the life of a debtor. In this particular scenario, the interest of the insured creditor is measurable because it is based on the value of the indebtedness.Common Life Insurance PoliciesGenerally, life insurance policies are often marketed to cater to retirement planning, savings and investment purposes apart from the ones mentioned above. For instance, an annuity can very well provide an income during your retirement years.Whole life and endowment participating policies or investment linked plans (ILPs) in life insurance policies bundle together a savings and investment aspect along with insurance protection. Hence, for the same amount of insurance coverage, the premiums will cost you more than purchasing a pure insurance product like term insurance.The upside of these bundled products is that they tend to build up cash over time and they are eventually paid out once the policy matures. Thus, if your death benefit is coupled with cash values, the latter is paid out once the insured dies. With term insurance however, no cash value build up can be had.The common practice in most countries is the marketing of bundled products as savings products. This is one unique facet of modern insurance practice whereby part of the premiums paid by the assured is invested to build up cash values. The drawback of this practice though is the premiums invested become subjected to investment risks and unlike savings deposits, the guaranteed cash value may be less than the total amount of premiums paid.Essentially, as a future policy holder, you need to have a thorough assessment of your needs and goals. It is only after this step where you can carefully choose the life insurance product that best suits your needs and goals. If your target is to protect your family’s future, ensure that the product you have chosen meets your protection needs first.Real World ApplicationIt is imperative to make the most out of your money. Splitting your life insurance on multiple policies can save you more money. If you die while your kids are 3 & 5, you will need a lot more life insurance protection than if your kids are 35 & 40. Let’s say your kids are 3 & 5 now and if you die, they will need at least $2,000,000 to live, to go to college, etc. Instead of getting $2,000,000 in permanent life insurance, which will be outrageously expensive, just go for term life insurance: $100,000 for permanent life insurance, $1,000,000 for a 10-year term insurance, $500,000 for a 20-year term insurance, and $400,000 of 30 years term. Now this is very practical as it covers all that’s necessary. If you die and the kids are 13 & 15 or younger, they will get $2M; if the age is between 13-23, they get $1M; if between 23-33, they get $500,000; if after that, they still get $100,000 for final expenses and funeral costs. This is perfect for insurance needs that changes over time because as the children grow, your financial responsibility also lessens. As the 10, 20, and 30 years term expires, payment of premiums also expires thus you can choose to use that money to invest in stocks and take risks with it.In a world run by the dictates of money, everyone wants financial freedom. Who doesn’t? But we all NEED financial SECURITY. Most people lose sight of this important facet of financial literacy. They invest everything and risk everything to make more and yet they end up losing most of it, if not all- this is a fatal formula. The best approach is to take a portion of your money and invest in financial security and then take the rest of it and invest in financial freedom.Ultimately, your financial plan is constantly evolving because you are constantly evolving. You can’t set a plan and then forget it. You need to keep an open eye on your money to make sure it is working hard because that money needs to feed you for the next 20-30+ years that you will be in retirement. You have to know how to feed your money now so that it can feed you later.

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Starting an Online Business: The Advantages

Online businesses continue to thrive as we move forward Since its inception, the internet has provided entrepreneurs with a new and easy platform to trade. Simply put online businesses are easy to start and cost much less compared to offline businesses. Additionally they not only have a wide reach but can also be operated conveniently from home.Starting an online isn’t hard, all you need is sound business plan or an idea and you are of to go. If you are thinking of starting an online business, then here are the advantages of starting such a business that you need to know.Advantages of online businessesLow start-up costs
Online businesses can be started on low budget as most expenses associated with offline businesses are done away with. Expenses such as office space, job expenses, office supplies, travel expenses, entertainment allowance are eliminated. The main cost of setting one up involves expenses like web design and marketing which don’t cost much.Lower operating costs
Generally most online businesses have lower operating costs compared to their offline counterparts. Once a given website is set up the remaining operational costs are minimal. Some of the operational costs incurred when running the business include; hosting fees, merchant accounts, salaries to web admin etc.Easy targeting
Its easier to target a certain market segment online compared to offline. Through keyword targeting online businesses can easily target their customers. Moreover, most customers use keywords or phrases when looking stuff online. Market selectivity is one of the main advantage of trading online.Easy tracking
Another advantage is that one can easily track their customers activities and derive important customer feedback that can help in improving the business further. By tracking users behavior business owners can be able to identify serious buyers and those may need further convincing. Carrying out research or a survey online is both inexpensive and timely.Flexibility
A business set up online simply offer unmatched flexibility and convenience. Typically an online store is usually open 24/7 to the delight of both buyers an sellers. Unlike traditional store which have opening an closing time, websites remain opened throughout unless the site is undergoing maintenance. Whether you shop at night or early in the morning you can be guaranteed that you will get whatever you want.Convenience
Online businesses offer unmatched convenience, as one can shop at the convenience of their homes and have things delivered immediately. Running an online businesses does not require one to set up an office as everything can be done at home provided there is the availability of internet and telephone service. In a nutshell they provide the much needed convenience to both customer and business owners.Cheap advertising
Unlike traditional businesses which spend thousands of dollars in advertising, most advertising done online is relatively cheap. Additionally there many free advertising platform where one can promote their businesses for free. Promoting your business on social media, blogs, forums is entirely free, all that is needed is little investment in time and effort.

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Telecommunications Tools Further the Benefits of Conference Calls

Today’s telecommunications technology allows people to work together without needing to be in the same location. For instance, people can conduct training sessions, product demonstrations and meetings via conference call. They can further leverage the service features of the telecommunications solution, such as recording and playback, to conduct business meetings more efficiently.During business meetings and other conference activities, attendance rates are not always one hundred percent. Some people may not be able to attend due to different reasons: time zone and shift differences, the presence of other appointments they need to attend, and absence from work on the day of the meeting. Telecommunications tools play a critical role in instances like these. The meeting host can easily hold another teleconference so that people who were unable to attend the first time can benefit from the meeting, especially if it involves training or product demonstrations.The meeting host can utilize telecommunications features like the conference recording tool to document the meeting, training session or product demonstration. Recording phone conferences is a way to ensure consistency, so that all the information given during the first session is preserved. This is especially useful for recurring training sessions involving new batches of trainees. In succeeding sessions, the meeting host can simply opt to broadcast the recording.Recording a conference call also allows the meeting host to play back the recording and review the session. This allows the meeting host to determine if there is a need for information to be updated, corrections to be made or participant concerns to be addressed offline.With a host of telecommunications tools, conducting business by conference call can be efficient and cost-effective.

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Selling Your Seller Financed Note For Gold

The USA’s triple A credit rating has now been downgraded to a double A. Downgraded notes will be worth less and less as time goes on. Note holders of seller financed notes might want to think about cashing out now before things possibly get worse. There does not seem to be an end in sight for years to come with financial forecasters predicting possible further losses as time goes on. People are also cashing out now while they can to buy gold which is skyrocketing in price by the day. With gold currently sold at $1724.40 an ounce, investors will continue to keep a close eye on the price of gold which is lucrative by anyone’s standard.Last weeks financial indicators witnessed one of the largest stock market fallouts since 2008. The Dow went down 634 points in one day. It was frightening for these shareholders to see such a drop in their bottom line just like that. NASDAQ lost 7% of its total value in one day with stocks plummeting. The S&P 500 lost 6.6% of its total value in one day. This resulted in them downgrading the good ole USA from a triple A rating to a double A rating. In addition to that, Bank of America lost 20% of their total value in one day according to David Favor of “NBC Nightly News”.The results from this downgrade will be higher interest rates on loans for things like mortgages, credit cards, education, cars, etc. Gold is now on the upswing with prices for gold tripling in the last few years. Many people are now cashing out to buy as much gold as they can with the idea that the countries financial situation could get worse. The experts are predicting very much more of the same, that our present financial situation could potentially deteriorate even further. So it may be a good idea to get the most out your seller financed note while there is still time. Its really hard to say just how much the value of any seller financed note will go down resulting in further loses for our note holders out there with carried back paper.So in conclusion, its safe to say that our current markets are in turmoil. Because our politicians haggled about policy way too long, we lost our triple A, S&P 500 rating which resulted in the nations leading financial experts predicting that our stock market will continue to fluctuate on this never ending roller coaster. This also means higher prices for everything we buy and uncertainty in the stock market which ultimately leads to fear which always results in stocks plummeting in this downward out of control spiral. And so as a means of financial rescue, many are turning to gold as a sound investment and cashing out their seller financed notes of all kinds just to buy as much of the precious metal as they can. Who knows what the financial future of our country will be in the next few years? No one can tell for sure at this point. The only thing that is known is that the financial future our country will continue to be in a state of uncertainty.

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Insurance Advertising – Discover How Independent Insurance Agents Generate Leads

Each day, more and more Insurance Agents are leaving the captive corporate world to venture into the realm of independent insurance agent. Rather than being locked into selling one major insurance carrier’s branded product line, they opt to offer a larger variety of policies, services and costs; coinciding with the demand of consumers wanting to have choices and options at competitive prices.As we are well aware, this is no longer a “seller’s market”, but an “informed buyer’s”. People, in general, are armed with more information than ever before. So, how do you, the independent insurance agent, stand out from the other 100′s of agents in your city? What marketing avenues are available to you so that you capture the prospective buyer’s attention and convert them into a prospect and ultimately a long-term client? And which ones work?Regardless of your target audience, whether you have niched your focus to be product specific, or if you are targeting a certain population segment; you need to investigate the various forms of advertising available to you, the costs of such programs and the pros and cons.Below is a breakdown of the most commonly used forms of advertising for the independent insurance agency, and the pros and cons of each.Television Advertising
As the average American spends more time in front of the television, it should be no surprise that this is one of the most sought after forms of marketing available.Pros:Ability to reach a larger and more diverse segment of the insurance seeking population
You can specify time of day and network, reaching your intended audience easier
Since most consumers are engaged by a combination of movement, color, what they see and what they hear, this gives most businesses a platform to achieve full sensory contact
Gives a business instant credibility and prestigeCons:Cost for the commercial air time and/or multiple runs
Cost for hiring a marketing agency to lay-out and film your insurance commercial
Consumer expectation – no longer are we impressed with someone reading off a teleprompt, they want to be entertained
Competition for the consumer’s attention
Popularity of digital recorders has increased, giving consumers the ability to fast-forward through commercials when watching their favorite showsMany experts would agree that if you have the extra capital in your marketing budget to incorporate television into your advertising that you should. However, it is important that you research different advertising firms to help you explore your options with regards to creating your on-air advertisement, the best way to target your audience and keep within your planned budget.Newspaper advertising and local weekly shoppers
With regards to print advertisements, some independent agents turn to local newspapers and weekly shoppers to advertise their agencies. Since many households either subscribe to at least one newspaper, or pick them up at their local newsstands, it is a fast and simple way to gain recognition by consumers.Pros:Ability to reach more than one target audience by placing various advertisements in the different sections of a newspaper
You have the choice of large or small circulation papers to advertise your insurance agency
Consumers who turn to the newspapers and weekly shoppers are looking for advertisers who offer deals or bargains
Multiple advertisement ad sizes to correspond with various budgetsCons:Newspapers and weekly shoppers are usually read once and discarded
Smaller advertisements have a more difficult time standing out when placed next to a larger ad
Quality of the print may distort images and photos in a way that can hurt your marketing rather than help
Ads, regardless of size, have to compete for the reader’s attentionLike television advertising, it would be prudent to consult with a professional marketing firm, preferably one that specializes in insurance marketing, to help you design an advertisement that best captures your targeted audience’s attention. The smaller the ad space the less detailed and complicated the ad should be.Also keep in mind the days the most sought after papers and weekly shoppers are printed. The rates for a large advertisement over the weekend will be greater than the same sized ad featured all week long.Billboards and Signs
While most forms of outdoor advertising are contained within billboards and large signage, some independent agencies have broadened the term to include park benches, posters and seat rails at public transit stops. This form of marketing has become a popular, less costly way, when compared with television and print advertising, to reach a larger audience in major metropolitan areas.Pros:Potential clients cannot simply discard or “turn off” outdoor advertising
Name recognition is higher with those consumers who walk or drive the same route each day
Billboards and signs vary in price due to size and location making it is easier to find one in your budgetCons:More often than not, outdoor advertisements do not fully engage a consumer’s attention for more than a few seconds
Advertisements have to be simple and interesting enough for the consumer to remember
Outdoor advertisements are usually contracted for a longer period of time than most independent agencies had anticipated securing them for
Posters and bench signs at public transit stops work well in major metropolitan areas where lower, middle and upper class alike share the same transportation systems, however, not as effective in areas where public transportation is not as commonIf you feel various forms of outdoor advertising would be a compliment to your business and marketing plan, consider placement wisely. Consult many firms for input and advice on the best way to stretch your marketing dollar and how they can help you create eye-catching and simple designs for your sign.Phone Book Directories
Since exposure to the advertisements in phone book directories is voluntary, meaning consumers actually turn to the phone book for its ads, this form of marketing for independent insurance agencies has become an industry standard.Pros:Certain targeted audiences utilize the phone book regularly to find businesses in their area
Many phone books also have an online directory giving agencies a more broad exposure
You can tailor your exposure to cover a large metropolitan area, or just the city you work in
Traditionally, consumers will keep a phone book versus discarding it like a newspaperCons:Cost – as more consumers turn to the internet, the cost for print ads in the phone book has increased to cover profit loss
Marketing ineffectiveness – with so many insurance agencies buying ads, it becomes more difficult to capture the consumer’s attention, and once again, stand out from the 100′s of other agents in your market
There are so many phone books in which to advertise, which one do you choose to feature your agency As with any form of advertising, be sure to read all the features and benefits that come with your paid advertisement. Does it include a featured ad online, or is that separate? What is the target area or audience of the phone book you are looking at? Is the cost monthly, quarterly or annual? Is there an automatic renewal clause or will you have the option of not renewing your contract? Where will your advertisement be placed in comparison to the other featured ads? Will someone employed by the phone book assist you with an eye catching advertisement, or do you have to hire a marketing agency to do that for you, and what is the cost?Internet Advertising
Roughly 90% of all the households across the United States have access to the internet either at home, at work or at school; making advertising on the internet the fastest growing marketing medium for independent insurance agents. That household percentage goes even higher for those families with a combined income of $100k or more. However, internet advertising gaining its strength only in the last decade or so, there is still a lot an independent agent would need to research, as with any form of advertising, before making a financial commitment.Pros:Cost- you can spend much or as little as your budget allows
Levels the playing field – the internet gives the independent agent a chance to compete with the large insurance carriers with regards to search engine placement
Whether a web site, a PDF brochure, an affiliated network or a video; any and all forms of advertising can be featured and found on the internet
Advertisement exposure is voluntary. Only the websites relevant to a consumer’s online search will pull up for them to look at. Someone searching for insurance agents in their area are more often than not, looking for an agent to speak withCons:People expect to be educated or informed by an agent’s personal website – having out-dated information or poor graphics can actually hurt your credibility
The ever changing internet – each of the major search engines change what they search for on websites constantly with regards to how well they rank. Staying on top of these changes can be very time consuming or expensive if you pay a firm to do this for you.
Fear of identity theft – consumers are becoming skeptical of entering their personal contact information online for fear they will have their personal information stolen or sold to telemarketing companies and be subject to unwanted emails or phone calls There are so many options and services available to the independent insurance agent to effectively market themselves and attract more leads. The form of advertising you choose will depend largely on the audience you intend to target, the area in which you do business, and ultimately your budget. Be sure to ask questions. Know what you are getting and what you are not with whatever forms of marketing you decide to use.

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The Secret of Franchise Financing Loans

It’s appealing, we know that. It’s the idea of owning your own business that is a proven brand and money maker. Franchise financing loans can help you address your entrepreneurial vision of owning a franchise in Canada. The ability to own your own business and generate profits and wealth is of course appealing to all.Picking your franchise in some ways is half the battle, as you probably have been focused on purchasing a new or existing franchise that matches your skills, interest, and experience. The other half of the battle and some say the harder one (we would agree) is arranging franchise financing loans that make sense for your business and your own personal situation.As we point out to clients, whether entrepreneurs are starting a major manufacturing company that might employ hundreds, or a pizza shop with a staff of three two considerations come to mind, always – they are debt and equity. We’re of course referring to how much you will put into the business, and how much business credit for a franchise loan can be accessed.So are there some great secrets and tips we can share with yourself as a prospective entrepreneur – there sure are.First tip/secret # 1 is simply to investigate carefully the financial requirements that your franchisor requires. These must be addressed in a solid and dedicated manner. If you don’t understand the requirements how can you address them? So ensure you understand the amount of financing the franchisor recommends. Is that all? Definitely not, that’s where our previous concept of planning was mentioned. Make sure you consider two other aspects of the business financing; they are working capital for daily operations, and some sort of plan for long term growth or expansion.It’s probably not written in stone somewhere, but we have always felt that clients aligning themselves with a major brand that has a larger number of multiple units have a strong chance of financing success. Of course that isn’t always the case, as some new concepts in a number of industries continue to be introduced all the time, but it sure helps if the lender is enamored by the franchisors brand and success.Another great tip and secret is simply that as opposed to spending all the time on the business itself when you are discussing financing, rather also focus on your own personal financial situation and experience. This is absolutely one of the most important criteria that banks pay attention to – namely how have you run your personal affairs, and at the same time do you have the type of business of management experience.Some franchisees think because they don’t have very direct experience it might hinder their financing – the reality is by properly positioning your skills in a general sense, i.e. previous sales experience, customer service, etc you can capitalize on general business skills required to run any business.You may not like to hear the news, but the reality is that you do in these times need a sizeable personal investment into the business, aka your owner equity. Those typical ranges between 30-50% depending on the size and nature of your franchise. In some cases you might be in fact buying an existing franchise from another franchisee who wishes for some reason to ‘move on.Let’s share probably our greatest secret in financing your franchise – the government of Canada. Many clients are surprised to hear that a government program known as the CSBF / BIL program is the largest financier of franchises in Canada. Its underwritten, structured, and supported by the government and offers great rates, terms and structures for amounts up to 350,000.00 – that amount was increased from 250k in previous years.A final secret – experts are preferred – Speak to a trusted, credible and experienced Canadian business financing advisor on how you can efficiently and successful gain knowledge on franchise financing loans for your new business.

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