Site for Online Apartment Search

It is about time that I start looking for a new place to live. I have been putting it off for awhile, but I am afraid that if I were to put it off any longer, then I would risk not being able to find an apartment that I like before I am scheduled to move out of this current apartment at the end of the lease. So I am in need of some help with finding apartments and what I would like to do is to find a site where I can do an apartment search and enter different search parameters to help narrow down listings to apartments that would likely meet my needs and be roughly what I am looking for.

I am not super picky, or at least, I don’t think I am. Continue reading →

Three Women Entrepreneurs and Their Important Considerations For Launching a New Product Or Service

Launching a product can mean lots of things to a business. It can mean branching out and snagging a new buyer in a different market. It can also mean creating residual income for a service-based business. And it may be just the thing needed to turn a struggling business into a cash cow. This article examines things three of the five specific types of female entrepreneurs (also known as “Janes”) should keep in mind as they plan for (and launch) new products.

Go Jane Go is passionate about her work, and has no problem marketing and selling herself, so she has plenty of clients-but she’s struggling to keep up with demand. She may be a classic overachiever, taking on volunteer opportunities as well, because she’s eager to make an impact on the world and may really struggle saying “no”. Because she wants to “say yes” to so many opportunities, she may even be in denial about how many hours she actually works during the course of a week. During the worst of times, Go Jane Go may tend to run herself ragged or feel guilty about all the things on her “to do list” that aren’t getting done quickly enough to satisfy her exacting demands.

If you’re the Go Jane Go type, you should think long and hard before deciding to develop a new product or service right now. Yes, you may have come up with something truly innovative that will help the market you serve. But remember that not everything needs to be done at once. Sometimes, when you have a great idea, you don’t need to say “no” – but you DO need to say “not right now”.

Create a special file for yourself to house all your fantastic ideas. Before allowing yourself to put another item on the “active projects” list, first require of yourself the discipline to make room for it! This is especially important if you are feeling like your plate is too full already.

When you truly feel ready to commit to the new product or service launch, several things can make it easier for you to experience success without frustration:

1. Find something you are doing now that you can remove from your list or delegate to someone else. This will give you time to work on the new project. Alternatively, hire someone (even part-time, virtually) to design and implement the new product for you, under your direction.
2. Estimate how many hours of your personal time the new project will take. Then triple your estimate. (As a Go Jane Go, you’re excellent at what you do-but you may not realize just how much effort you’re putting into tasks. To preserve your sanity, you need to give yourself plenty of cushion for the inevitable unexpected events.)
3. Don’t just put it on your list-actually put each step on your calendar. This way, you are assured of reasonable timelines, rather than falling behind and feeling like you have to do a major crunch at the end.

Merry Jane. This entrepreneur is usually building a part-time or “flexible time” business that gives her a creative outlet (whether she’s an ad agency consultant or an artist) that she can manage within specific constraints around her schedule. She may have a day job, or need to be fully present for family or other pursuits. She realizes she could make more money by working longer hours, but she’s happy with the tradeoff she has made because her business gives her tremendous freedom to work how and when she wants, around her other commitments.

As a Merry Jane, when you come up with a new product or service idea that you are considering launching for your business, you want to make sure it really makes the most of your time. Before you begin, make sure you put in a step to research your market’s interest in the product first. A simple way to do this is to reach out to some of your current customers today to find out if they are interested in the overall business idea. Using your blog, you can ask provocative questions about the topic and see if it generates response. You can also send out a quick survey or even call some of your most trusted customers on the phone. Choose the method based on the size and type of customers you have.

By putting this step in place, you can feel confident the new idea is worth the investment of your time to develop. And, by reaching out to your customers first, you will likely gather information that will help you refine and strengthen the idea even further, ensuring yourself a successful launch.

Accidental Jane is a successful, confident business owner who never actually set out to start a business. Instead, she may have decided to start a business due to frustration with her job or a layoff and decided to use her business and personal contacts to strike out on her own. Or, she may have created something that served her own unmet needs and later found other customers with the same need, giving birth to a business. Accidental Jane enjoys what she does and is creating a satisfactory level of income.

If you’re an Accidental Jane, you love where your business is right now, so you may feel uncertain about whether to launch your new product idea or not. The key to making this decision lies in visualizing the various scenarios that could play out if you did decide to launch it. By creating a “pros and cons” list for each of the scenarios, you can determine which path is most likely to create results you desire. Below are some probing questions to ask yourself about your new product idea before taking the additional steps to create it:

o Will doing this be something I really enjoy? Will it give me “job satisfaction”?
o How much time will it take to create this new product the right way? Am I willing to add that many more hours to my plate? Are there things I can give up to make room for it, without diminishing my income or happiness?
o What if this new product really takes off? If there’s more demand that I can serve right now, what will I do? Will I feel comfortable hiring people to help me? Will I feel comfortable letting go of other work I’m doing today to make room for it? If it really took off, how would it change the financials of my business and how I spend my time?
o If this new product doesn’t work out, how will I feel? Will I be willing to invest additional time required to fix it or market it to make sure it works? Will I feel like a failure or do I see this as an important opportunity for personal growth, even if it fails?

Since Accidental Jane is generally happy with the way things are right now, using these questions as filters to determine whether or not to launch a new product will help her make sure she doesn’t “accidentally” create results that take away some of her joy or income.

Even though all three Janes- Go Jane Go, Merry Jane and Accidental Jane- have distinct ways of doing business, each can benefit from the launch of successful new products and services. The key to doing so lies in appreciating herself and her own business needs, and pursuing new opportunities in a way that will really serve the life she wants to live.

Domain Products and Services for Modern Businesses

The trouble with the world wide web is that there are people of varying levels of skill in charge of navigating it at all times for themselves. And those who are working on business websites with no actual understanding of the net but a great grasp on business might be quickly tempted to simply hand the project to someone who is supposed to be experienced in the electronic realm, despite the fact that it’s not going to be beneficial to actively avoid gaining that kind of knowledge. That’s why even if it’s someone else’s area of expertise, taking the time to understand the importance of picking great domain names is a fantastic way to get on board with learning to bend the web to make one happier and more successful.

Whether it’s a big company, a small family business, or a personal project, doing a good job at driving traffic begins with selecting the best domain name. For those who aren’t thinking of the professional side of the web, being a regular user can actually act as a huge aid. After all, think about one’s own personal experience on the net. Is it possible to remember a convoluted string of numbers and abbreviations for someone’s URL? Chances are, the answer is no. The same goes for overly detailed addresses that map out the first and last name of the proprietor, as well as the particular locale. But it can also be pointed out that being too vague is incredibly damaging. It’s an easy way to lose business when everyone is thinking that another establishment, crafts collective, or band is one’s own, because of the fact that it has an overly universal title.

It’s also helpful to think of the world of search engines when picking out a URL, and to consider what people might be typing to get to a particular page. If it’s possible to add one or two of those terms to the domain name itself, then it might be possible to influence one’s position on the Google search results and rest assured that those who are looking for one’s home online will be able to find it without spending too much time searching. And just like in any kind of business, the less amount of time that people need to spend trying to get the information they want, the more time they are likely to spend once they actually get to the proper site. Be careful to not make it too impossible to do instantly, or risk the fact that people simply won’t end up getting there at all.

While plenty of people get nervous when it comes to handling content online, it’s important to remember the fact that anyone can learn the basic rules of online logic and figure out how to get what he or she wants out of having a website. Instead of being overwhelmed with the medium, remember that the same rules apply as in other types of promotion and business, and act accordingly.

Overview Of Allstate Auto Insurance Products And Services

Allstate auto insurance has been around for well over 75 years and is a Fortune 100 organization. Property, automobiles, businesses, power sports, life and retirement coverage are just some of the coverage policies offered. The Allstate Insurance headquarters is located in Northbrook Illinois and they employ more than 70,000 employees around the united states.

Allstate coverage Benefits

Allstate consumers obtain lots of advantages. Some clients are eligible for Accident forgiveness, if these people are involved in an incident. If you have been at fault in an automobile accident, this helps prevent the cost of your insurance premium rising.

Allstate reward better car owners also. You will be able to get a Safe Driving reward credit of as much as 5% of the price of your protection, after 6 months of driving without having an automobile accident. That applies every 6 months following this.

You will get $100 off your own collision deductible, simply for registering. Every year you do not make a claim, you get another $100, to a maximum of $500.

Allstate will exchange your brand-new car if it gets totalled within just 3 model years. It is a substantial compensation, given that you do not just obtain the decreased price of your automobile if its in a serious car accident.

Different types of Auto Insurance coverage

Insurance coverage to accommodate various different types of car owners is available from Allstate. The following are the main sorts of insurance coverage available:

– Liability insurance protection
– Medical insurance coverage
– Collision protection
– Comprehensive protection
– Uninsured and under insured insurance coverage
– Personal Injury Insurance cover
– Towing and Labor protection
– Car hire compensation
– Protection for sound systems

Allstate insurance coverage discounts

A safe car owner can save as much as 45% on their coverage. You can easily get up to 10% price reduction when you change your policy, and you can actually even switch your current policy just before it ends.

Car owners with little driving experience could benefit also. College students under twenty-five that get very good grades can have their premiums lessened by as much as 20%. A mother or father whose child is a college student studying 100 miles away or more, may obtain a discount of as much as 30% off their insurance premium too. In the event that you are fifty five or older and retired, you can save approximately 10%.

Getting certain basic safety and security equipment fitted to your vehicle also helps cut down the cost of your cover. Airbags, anti-lock brakes, motorized seat belts and anti-theft devices are just some of the accessories you can get special discounts for.

Getting a quote through Allstate

Obtaining an Allstate auto insurance quote is reasonably simple. You may get quotations on line, by telephoning or even by getting in touch with a broker. Insurance agent particulars in your state, a quotation capability as well as more details is offered on the Allstate web site.

Customer service and awards

Allstate provides services for customers requirements, with its 24/7 client support solutions. Their on line client care facility lets you take care of your insurance coverage when you must. Their Good Hands Network furthermore enables you to contact an agent for added help at any time.

Employment opportunities at Allstate

The very best resource Allstate Insurance believe they’ve got is their staff members. Allstate employ over seventy thousand staff members, working in areas including information systems, claims management, auditing, actuaries, auto body professionals, investments, accounting and finance. Allstate insurance staff members in general, receive good benefits that make this company one of the best to work for.

How to Sell More Products and Services Through Your Email Newsletter

Every day we are bombarded by hundreds of emails, each contending for our attention. Yet, only a selected few make it past the delete button.

When done right, email marketing can be one of the most effective, cost-efficient marketing strategies. However, when done poorly, many small business owners find themselves receiving little return on the countless hours they have invested.

So tell me, how does your email newsletter measure up? Are you generating more sales, increasing your response rate, or converting prospects into customers? If not, you may need to reevaluate your content. Don’t let weak copy or ineffective offers be the reason your newsletter ends up in the trash bin.

Here are five ways to write e-newsletters that sell:

1. Personalize your emails. Personalizing emails makes subscribers feel valued and creates an emotional bond between you and your readers. When writing your content, let customers know who you are and engage them in your business. You can brief them on exciting conferences or seminars you are attending, or new projects you are developing. Make a note of problems your clients are experiencing and offer a solution. The idea here is to make your customers feel like they are partners in your company.

2. Write in a conversational tone. Conversational copy makes you appear friendlier to prospective clients, and people are more likely to do business with those they have established a meaningful connection with and trust. When you write like you speak, readers will feel as if they are actually having a conversation with you, which creates a feeling of intimacy between you and your audience.

3. Provide informative, valuable content. Most business owners lose their audience when they use a hard-sell approach. Customers don’t like to feel like they are being sold to, so providing useful content is critical to the success of your email marketing campaign. Strive to provide value to your readers and demonstrate the benefits of doing business with your company with informative tips and trends.

4. Create a theme for each issue. Establish a theme to help keep your content fresh and exciting and subscribers coming back for more. For example, if you are a health or wellness professional and it is January, you might consider creating a theme related to keeping your New Year’s resolutions or weight loss. If you are a life coach and it is spring, your theme might consist of how to successfully implement change. Once you have established your theme, you can then introduce relevant products your target audience might find helpful. Going back to the New Year’s theme, you might inform your clients of specialized weight loss programs that you offer or nutritional supplements they can purchase to give them more energy.

5. Call to Action. If you are promoting a special offer or a new product, you must include a clear call to action. Be specific about what steps readers must take to receive your special promotion such as, “Click here for a 20% discount off your next coaching session.”

If email marketing is used correctly, it can keep your name in front of existing customers, generate repeat sales, and build new relationships with prospects. However, the key to getting a maximum return on your investment — in time and energy– is the effectiveness of your content.

Who Are the People That Are Going to Buy Your Products and Services?

One of the most powerful marketing weapons that many businesses don’t use is the concept of an Ideal Prospect Profile. Picture your Ideal Prospect in your mind. Think about it until you’ve got a clear picture of the exact person who is your ideal customer. Work out their number one business challenge. What is the main source of their frustration? What do they do for a living? Where do they live? Work on this mental picture until you’ve got a clear idea of their profile. Then start making notes. You may get a hint from your existing customer list. Consider your number one customer, did they fit your Ideal Prospect Profile before they became your customer?

This is a marvelous tool for any business that wants to grow their sales. It is very simple and very practical. The Ideal Prospect Profile enables you and your staff to see with great clarity your target market. This target enables you to focus all your marketing and selling efforts in that direction. Just imagine what it would be like if you could increase the numbers of your ideal customers, what would it do to your business?

Once you’ve worked out your Ideal Prospect Profile, you know to whom you are going to be marketing. Then you can work out the what, where, how and why. When you have a clear understanding of who you are marketing to, it’s a lot easier to figure out what interests them, where to find them, how to meet their needs, and show them why they should buy from you.

Most business people know quite a lot about their target market, but they haven’t organized that information into a usable and concise form. The profile will contain the attributes of a single, fictional person who is a combination of all the characteristics you may find in the perfect customer. Many of the people who end up being your customers will not necessarily have all the attributes of your ideal prospect. You will find that some of the attributes will be found among your top 20% of customers such as paying their bills on time, easy to deal with, low maintenance, generate large margins, keeps on referring you to other people in business, gives good feedback and so on.

If you’re selling to businesses, consider a profile that includes industry, products, services, location, business niche and if necessary acquire a copy of their annual report. The annual report will probably be more valuable for what it doesn’t say rather than what it does say. On the financial page it will give you some idea of sales revenue and costs.

When you first write your profile you might find that various pieces of information are missing. Don’t worry too much about that because you will complete them once you start focusing your marketing in a single direction.

Ideas to Increase Banking Sales Targets

Banks must increase their sales targets to stay ahead of new entrants to the financial services sector and maintain profitability. Banks can increase sales by offering a wider portfolio of products to existing customers and attracting new customers. Key to increasing sales targets is changing the culture of bank staff who have traditionally focused on service, rather than sales. Technology can help bank staff identify sales prospects and build long-term relationships with important customers.

Sales Culture
Encourage staff to offer additional products and services to customers. Explain that all bank staff have a role to play in selling. According to Bankers Online, branch staff do not join a bank to sell; they expect customers to come to them for help. Explain why the relationship of trust between bank staff and customers is a good foundation for selling.

Training
Provide product training for branch staff to help them understand the prospects for different products and the key customer benefits. Encourage staff to agree their own sales targets in conjunction with a manager and provide incentives for achieving or exceeding sales targets. Help staff to identify sales opportunities with customers at different life stages. Match lifestyle stages with products and services such as mortgages, life insurance, pension plans, personal loans for home improvements, investment advice and wealth management.

Profile
Use technology to provide staff with a profile of each customer. According to IBM, an effective sales system lists products the customer already uses, makes recommendations for future sales, describes previous product offers and includes a complete customer contact history. Focus on retaining top customers. Appoint a personal banker to provide service to top customers. Offer privileged access to advisory services and sell premium products to maximize income from the relationship.

Campaigns
Use corporate marketing material to run branch campaigns on specific products. Run local branch campaigns in conjunction with national campaigns to improve results. Use direct marketing techniques to target key prospects, based on customer profiles and lifestyle stages.

Business
Appoint a senior member of staff to build personal relationships with business customers. Provide business advice to small-business owners and give larger customers access to corporate business banking services. Run campaigns focused on business products and services. Use corporate marketing material such as business newsletters or business guides to maintain regular contact with customers.

Definition of Personal Banking

Personal banking encompasses the range of products and services offered by a bank to individuals. Included are checking and savings accounts, loans and mortgages, safe deposit boxes, certificates of deposit, money orders and bank drafts and travelers checks. This list is not exhaustive and is growing. Banks continue to grow the list of products and services they offer as regulations change.

Deposits and Reserves
In 2010, banks had some $7 trillion on deposit. Deposits at banks are used to create money and enhance economic activity. When you deposit money at a bank, the bank is required to keep some in reserve and is allowed to loan the rest. The Federal Reserve determines this reserve requirement. Even without the Federal Reserve’s requirements, banks would still keep money on hand to ensure that checks, automated bank machine withdrawals and withdrawals at the teller’s window are easily accommodated.

Creating Money
To understand how bank deposits create money, consider this simplified example. You deposit $10,000. The bank keeps 3 percent, or $300, in the teller tills. It can then loan out the remaining $9,700, which it does. The person borrowing the money purchases something, and the seller deposits the money back into the bank. The bank keeps 3 percent of this in the teller tills, and can loan out the remaining $9,409. This process will continue, and in this example your $10,000 of money creates over $300,000.

Bank Runs And Other Dangers
The same process that increases the money supply can lead to its shrinkage. The extreme case of this is known as a bank run. Bank runs have occurred in the United States roughly every 20 years since 1819. Bank runs happen when depositors feel panicked about the safety of their deposits. They go to the bank to take out their money without the intention of spending it or depositing it elsewhere. When this happens on a very large scale, banks have difficulty coming up with the cash and this heightens the sense of panic. To raise cash, banks have to prematurely call in the loans they made, and this can drive businesses to bankruptcy. In turn, this can in the worst of cases, lead to an economic depression.

Government Policy
The effects of bank runs are catastrophic, yet there are significant benefits to a banking system that creates money. Consequently, government policy makers continually monitor and regulate the banking sector to ensure depositors are protected. Perhaps the most visible sign of this is the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which provides guarantees to bank deposits.

How to Use a Cost-Benefit Analysis to Make a Personal Economic Decision

Business owners and managers use cost-benefit analyses on everything from short-term purchases to long-term personnel decisions. In a cost-benefit analysis, businesses look at their current financial situation, consider alternatives and make choices based on the long-term financial benefit of those alternatives. Both business and consumer spending decisions involve many of the same facets, such as product or service cost, value and availability. The business principles behind a cost-benefit analysis can be easily applied to consumer spending and budgeting to help individuals make the best personal financial decisions.

Create a plan to track a month of grocery purchases. Tracking what you use and how much you spend can help you determine the exact cost of items, as well as your total spending.

List each item you purchase and where you purchased it, documenting each item’s total cost and unit cost. At most stores, the unit cost is found on the store shelf tag next to the price.

Write down all your purchases to track grocery spending.
Figure out the monthly cost of a particular item to calculate the amount spent annually on that item. For example, if you purchase 10 gallons of milk each month, you can project that you will buy 120 gallons in one year. If the unit cost of milk is $3 per gallon, you would spend $30 per month on milk, or $360 annually.

Find out how much your groceries really cost.
Choose an alternate source for grocery purchases, such as a wholesale club, to compare with the purchases made in a regular grocery store. In addition to item costs, consider variables such as club membership fees, availability of items and convenience.

Shopping wholesale can be less expensive.
Calculate the annual cost of a particular item purchased at the wholesale club using the same method you used to determine the annual cost of an item purchased at a grocery store.

Factor in the additional costs associated with the wholesale club, such as the annual membership fee and any surcharge added to each order. Compare the two annual amounts; subtract the smaller number from the larger one to see your projected annual savings. Consider the other factors, such as convenience and item availability, in your cost-benefit analysis to make your decision.

Marketing Strategies for Personal Selling

Personal selling is an important tool for marketing complex or high-value products and services, such as cars, computer systems, consultancy and financial services. Regular face-to-face contact is also essential for maintaining close relationships with a company’s biggest customers. While sales skills and personal qualities such as empathy, confidence and persuasiveness are key to successful personal selling, marketing services such as email campaigns, corporate advertising and sales promotion provide valuable support to the sales team.

Balance Internal and Field Sales Resources
Field sales representatives spend only part of their time face to face with customers. They must allocate time for prospecting for new business, maintaining contact with customers between visits and monitoring progress on customers’ orders. To give representatives more time for personal selling, an increasing number of companies are recruiting internal sales representatives, according to Insidesales.com. The internal sales team can take responsibility for maintaining telephone contact with customers, following up sales leads and making appointments for field representatives, and liaising with internal departments responsible for meeting customers’ requests, such as sales order processing, production and logistics.

Build Company Credentials with Corporate Communications
Corporate communications activities such as corporate advertising, press releases and company presentations help to build confidence in a company. Corporate communications describe a company’s market position, experience, technical capability, product range, customer profile and financial stability. If a sales representative is trying to win a major contract, corporate communications help to convince the prospect that the company is capable of meeting its requirements. Corporate communications also can maintain a company’s reputation, which can be damaged by adverse publicity such as negative reviews on websites or in the press. Forbes notes that a poor reputation can result in serious sales losses, making it essential to support sales reps with positive communications.

Maintain Customer Contact with Email Campaigns
Running email programs helps companies maintain contact and build relationships with prospects and customers between sales visits. Send existing customers newsletters to keep them up to date with developments in the company as well as personalized email alerts about product or service announcements relevant to their business. Email also can help nurture sales leads and support the efforts of the field reps. According to marketing specialists Eloqua, companies should run email campaigns in stages, offering prospects general company and product information, followed by detailed product information and invitations to a meeting. This enables companies to take prospects from initial awareness to a position where they are ready to meet a sales rep.

Encourage Purchases with Promotional Campaigns
Running a sales promotion campaign can help representatives close deals, increase sales or get more opportunities to meet prospects and customers. Offering special deals on new products, for example, can help reps meet or exceed their product launch targets. Promotional discounts or special offers, such as free delivery, can make customers and prospects more willing to buy or bring forward purchase decisions.