An Inside Look at How the Pros Test the Real Value of Precious MetalsWe all know that not all precious metals or pieces of scrap are created equal. The trick to making a profit off of metals or old electronics is understanding what determines the ‘value’ of an item. Your average person is not 100% sure how to pull this off; the best they can often do is make an educated guess based on outside factors. As an example of how people estimate the value of goods is the current rise in bargain hunters who will visit stores like Goodwill or Salvation Army, looking for items they can repurpose or sell. You’ll notice that these folks don’t sweep everything off the shelves into a bag; instead, they guess at what’s valuable and what’s not. Sometimes we check our own basements and attics for old antiques or electronics and look to see if there are any signs of hidden value. If you’ve ever watched the show Antiques Roadshow, you’re probably aware of how reliable the average person’s perception of value is. On Antiques Roadshow, people bring items that they think have a shot of being valuable in front of expert appraisers, who tell them the real history and cost of those items. Countless people have been disappointed that their “priceless” antiques were actually mass produced and worth pennies, while many others have been shocked and delighted that an old painting or set of earrings in a relative’s attic are worth millions. So if you’re thinking “I want to sell my gold, but how do I know whether I’ll get a good deal?”, it’s time to turn to the experts.A refining company and their staff have foolproof ways to tell the real cost of an item, guaranteed. By using specialized equipment, the professionals can test the real value of precious metals and electronic scrap. Curious as to how? We give you an inside look at the details.

Starting Off: The First Steps That Refining Companies Take to Evaluate

So you’ve looked at your excess antiques, items, or goods and decided “I want to sell my gold!” Here’s how the process of judging its value begins. First of all, you present the refining company with your gold. There are two ways you can do this:

1) Walk into the refining company’s headquarters or one of their approved buyers. This allows you to physically drop off the metals so they can be properly weighed and assessed.

2) Use a mail-in program to sell your gold. This method is much more convenient, and if you use insurance then you dramatically reduce the risk of mailing in.

Once the items have arrived at the refining company, they will evaluate the material right there. The process takes a couple of days to ensure that everything goes off without a hitch. The material is sorted into appropriate categories – obviously scrap will be separated from metals, and metals will be sorted into gold, silver, platinum and so on. Then the material is “graded” based off its karats. The categories are weighed and documented. If they aren’t sure about the karats or the quality of the metal, they go through one of these three tests.

The Acid and Touchstone Kit Test

You may be interested in selling your gold, but first it’ll have to go through the touchstone method. You definitely want the pros to handle this test, as it requires acid. Here’s how it works: 24k gold will resist all but the strongest acids, as it is pure gold. Lower quality metals that have been diluted and mixed with other materials, on the other hand, will react much more violently to an acid bath. For touchstone testing, experts set up a well ventilated area with an acid testing kit, glass beakers, water, baking soda, abrasive paper and safety goggles, and of course protective gear. They make a notch in the item and look for fresh metal. Then, they test the gold with acid. If it turns a bright, vivid green, that means the “gold” is a baser metal. If the gold passes these tests, the various needles and acids are used to test the exact karats, and the value is deduced from there.

The Conductivity Test

The conductivity test is used for your electronic scrap to separate the metals from consumer electronic scrap. When you turn in an old gaming console or computer tower, the pros are looking to see how many valuable pieces of scrap they can pull away. The conductivity test gives them this answer. Electrical currents separate the metals and push them apart due to magnetism. This test reveals how much metal scrap can be saved and how much has to go in the trash, which shows the true value of your old electronics.

The X-Ray Fluorescence Test

“If I sell my gold, will it always go through the acid and touchstone test?” You might be wondering. The answer is no, because there’s another way of testing precious metals: the x-ray fluorescence test. This is exactly how it sounds: they test metals by looking within and seeing its contents. Just like a doctor looks at your bones to make sure you’re growing up healthy or that your injury is healing well, the pros will use x-rays to see the true value of your gold.

Every year, countless Canadians decide “it’s time to sell my gold!” Chances are you might be among them. If so, you don’t have to worry about figuring out the true value of your gold or scrap. The experts at a refining company will do it for you. They will take the steps above to asses your gold and make a decision for you. The stress will be off your shoulders and you’ll be able to wait for your offer and cheque in the mail. Good luck!

User-generated campaigns can bolster your social media marketing effortsCreate your own flavour. Send your own design. Upload your own video. Over the years, there’s been an upsurge in the use of user-generated campaigns. Brands are increasingly trying out this form of marketing to reach their audiences, hoping that they can receive more engagement from them and hold their attention longer. It makes sense now since the average consumer is starting to tune out the mass array of messages that bombards them day-to-day. If you can’t hook them within a few seconds, you’ve lost them. And user-generated content is a great way to keep people interested.

But there’s the question about the overall impact of user-generated content. Some say it works, others say it’s pointless, some are indifferent, while others have yet to try it. It seems to rest in an undisclosed territory. However, you can take to heart that user-generated campaigns can be a great tool when it comes to social media marketing. What matters most is how you make use of it, what you do it for, and how you keep track of it. Although many campaigns have turned into huge success stories, there are several which ended up as major bombs.

What Your Average User-Generated Campaigns Look Like

Trying to label user-generated campaigns just might resemble what scientists go through when identifying animal and plant species. They come in so many different shapes, sizes, and forms, and that makes it hard to find distinguishing features. What you need to remember is this form of marketing involves the consumer, and it asks them to contribute to their own experience. In other words, the brand asks customers to create a piece of content that could be showcased for the world to see. This form of customer engagement can take two-dimensional advertising and turn it into something that people pursue, rather than ignore. These campaigns can also appear in various mediums, including contests, videos, social media posts, games, and even live events.

Why User-Generated Content Works

  • It’s consumer-centric
  • Rewards and recognition motivates them to work for you
  • Creates instant and widespread buzz
  • Can build significant brand awareness/loyalty
  • Potential for a much longer lifespan, unlike traditional 30 second messages

By looking at the benefits listed above, it’s clear to see why so many brands would like to try their hand at user-generated content. After all, much of today’s social media marketing fails to inspire people the way they might have done in previous years. And in these times, if you’re not making an impact on your consumers, you’re not doing anything at all.


Brands That Have Done Well With User-Generated Campaigns

Can you think of three brands that have tried or currently implement user-generated content as part of their marketing strategy? If not, check out the list below.

  • Pepsi
  • Belkin
  • Nissan
  • Target
  • Estee Lauder
  • T-Mobile

Other Great Examples Include

  • Burberry
  • Old Spce
  • Tourism Queensland
  • Heineken
  • Rent the Runway

But It’s Not All Rainbows and Unicorns

Now before you run and off and try to create the next great user-generated content (UGC) frenzy, remember this: these campaigns don’t always work. Sometimes, they fail in a manner that many people would say is “epic”. Although there is a lengthy list of potential benefits, there’s also a fairly comparable list of pitfalls which you need to be aware of. Social media marketing needs a balance of various elements in order for it to be effective. However, the use of UGC campaigns in this arena can easily cause your communications to tip too far off the tightrope.

Risks Associated With User-Generated Campaigns

  • Messaging that’s Inconsistent – One of the “lighter” risks associated with user-generated content rests within your messaging. Your hope is that customers will create content that reflects your brand. However, they won’t always do so, and will instead create content they feel is worthy. As a result, those who are discovering your brand for the first time may get the wrong impression about who you are.
  • Over/Under-Engagement – The center of UGC campaigns is engagement, and yet still there are problems that can arise in this aspect. For example, poor timing can lead to low engagement, since your audience may not notice your efforts. And believe it or not, too much engagement can be a problem as well. If you don’t set the right parameters, your team can face an overload of content.
  • Intellectual Property Rights – An often overlooked issue is that of intellectual property. Remember, a UGC campaign involves the audience, not your team, and therefore you shouldn’t be surprised if there are people who blatantly use another person’s work to submit to your contest. Never assume it’s something that the original creators will ignore. There have been numerous occasions where people go to court over stuff like this.
  • Dangerous Behaviour from Participants – Finally, always consider the risk of dangerous behaviour. Some user-generated campaigns involve physical action or other activities that could injure some individuals. Even in cases where the contest requirements are tame, you’ll always have those few people who take things too far.

The Verdict

So now – the moment of truth. Should you make use of user-generated content as part of your social media marketing campaign or not? The answer is yes – provided you are willing to accept the possible risks and work in conjunction with experienced marketing professionals. The possibilities and returns which you can gain are simply too great for you to ignore completely. In this age where advertising has lost much of its persuasive power, the ability to hold the attention of an audience has turned into a survival trait. Fortunately, user-generated efforts can be one of the most powerful tools for capturing interest.

But remember the words above – you should accept the risks and work with experienced professionals. No one can guarantee that the world will fall in love with your campaign. UGC efforts are often experimental, and most of the big brands who have tried it understand that the results aren’t guaranteed.

And that brings us to the next point. Since they can’t be sure what results they’ll see, they entrust the task to marketing agencies who have a better understanding of the field. By doing this, they can at least step into the waters and get a feel for what they’re doing, rather than getting a cold shock upon entry. A similar approach can save you from wasting resources, money, and ultimately, time.

Proceed with Caution

User-generated content can be risky, so you should hire a digital agency for guidanceMany of the good things you may have heard about user-generated content is true. Some of the campaigns that have been featured in magazines and in news articles deserve their acclaim. But that doesn’t mean they’re bulletproof. It’s certainly worth your while to use UGC-related efforts in your social media marketing, but you should do so with the backing of an experienced digital agency. You can avoid the pitfalls with their expertise, and you can also rest assured that you’re not doing it alone.




Life is a series of choices. Every day, we have to make decisions. Sometimes they’re small and simple, like what we should have for breakfast Your garage doors for industrial environment need to be reliable and a good fit.or which route we should take home from work. Other times, they’re complicated and complex. You may consider which degree you want to pursue in your university or college, or whether or not you want to try to find a relationship. These choices are far more complex. Any business owner worth their salt has had to make thousands of choices that make up their success. Making the wrong choice can affect your business operations from top to bottom. Therefore, it’s obvious that there has to be some way to find the best choice. If you just flip a coin, pick at random, or go purely off whichever gets offered to you first, you’re likely going to end up with the wrong choice. Something that you can do is look at the pros and cons of each option. For instance, if you’re torn between some healthy fruit or a pastry for breakfast, you can look at the calorie count of each food, whether they’ll fill your stomach and leave you satisfied, and whether you’ll still be running strong at noon. When it comes to garage doors for your industrial business, the pros and cons are a little more nuanced. We look at some of the biggest points that you should consider, and how the answer changes for each situation. From there, you should be able to start the process of making an educated decision on your overhead doors.

Start With the Basics: What Do You Need Your Garage Doors to Do?

If you were hiring a new employee, you wouldn’t just call people in and start interviewing them right away. Instead, you would take the time and care to craft a job description that explains what their position would entail and what they need to do on a daily basis. Otherwise, you would likely end up with a poor fit of an employee. Your garage doors for industrial purposes should be treated the same way. You need to look at what your business does on a day to day basis and how your garage doors need to react. For instance, some companies are protecting expensive and easily stolen cargo that must be protected at all costs. Others are dealing with delicate goods like medication or luxury items that have to stay at a certain temperature. Still others make thousands of transactions a day and their garage door needs to be ready to open every single time. Obviously, every business needs a different type of garage door. This doesn’t make certain types of doors superior; it makes them situational. Understand which situations your doors need to be able to handle before you go shopping.

Weight A Second: Why A Door’s Heaviness Matters

When you think of weight, you might think of cutting back calories. Instead, take a moment to think about how the weight of a garage door matters. If you are dealing with cargo that must be kept secure and you need to keep intruders at bay, a heavy and slow garage door can serve as a suitable deterrent. A heavy door can also provide great insulation for temperature sensitive environments. However, the downsides of such a door is obvious: When it is slow to open, it can hold back employees from quickly loading cargo. A heavy door can also turn a busy work environment into a pressure cooker. People moving and working generates heat, and a light door lets the cold air in and the hot air out. Therefore, a fast moving and hectic work environment is well served by a lightweight, lightening fast door. Planning accordingly greatly increases the quality of life for both you and your employees. Failing to do so means your garage doors make an industrial environment unsafe or miserable to work in.

What Makes Up the Weight of a Door?

It’s easy to say “Simply pick out a door of a certain weight!”, but there’s more to a door than just its weight in pounds. The materials that make up a door can significantly contribute to its speed and ease of movement. Lighter metals are obviously easier to manipulate and also lend themselves to faster movement due to being aerodynamic. Heavier metals will pick up momentum on their way down but struggle on the way up. Therefore, looking at the material of a door is one of the best ways to make sure you have garage doors that suit your industrial needs.

Roll-Up Doors Versus Sectional Doors: What’s the Difference?

Roll-up doors and sectional doors are two different styles of construction that each have their benefits and drawbacks. Roll-up doors are very secure. Sectional doors are, as can be easily deduced by the name, built in sections. A determined intruder or thief can kick or bash through one of the sections to gain entry. Meanwhile, a roll-up door is a single sheet of metal that is much more difficult to penetrate. So, what’s the drawback of roll-up doors? They take up more space, as they are a single piece that simply rolls up and occupies the roof while open. A sectional door can be folded up and therefore allow for a more ergonomic workspace.

Your garage doors can be the backbone of your industrial business. In order for this to be true, you need to make sure it’s a good fit. What sort of goals does your business aim for, and how can the doors help you achieve them? Once you answer that question, your choice can become clear.

Have you had a heated debate with your friends as to what is a sport and what isn’t? It’s an event where things get heated. Feelings get hurt and Cornhole reportedly originates in 14th century Germany. Custom cornhole boards originated from Cincinnati, Ohio. opinions get shattered. For example, some people argue whether golf and curling are sports, considering them glorified pastimes instead. These kinds of discussions usually go nowhere since views on what can be classified as a sport is subjective. But no one can deny the popularity and appeal of (we’ll call them sports) golf and curling. More importantly, no one can argue that takes a huge amount of practice to be skillful at them.

Enter the game of cornhole. Again, not everyone is going to consider it a sport, but it’s a game that has surged in terms of popularity. Just like golf and curling, it takes a ton of practice to turn yourself into a great player. Thankfully, there are those who recognize this skill and have thus created opportunities for those who play well- paid opportunities. Of course, you should play the game of cornhole because you really like it, but you should take advantage of the payoffs that be yours if you perform well. So it’s wise to make use of those custom cornhole boards and keep on practicing. You never know where you might go.

The Roots of Cornhole

To build an appreciation of what cornhole has turned into, it’s worth looking at where it came from. Although it’s disputed, the game is thought to originate from 14th century Germany, it’s creator – Matthias Kueperman. After a long period of obscurity, the game is then believed to have been rediscovered in Ohio about a century ago (although others say Kentucky). Cornhole gained a ton of popularity in Cincinnati, Ohio and turned into such an obsession, that companies started creating custom cornhole boards for enthusiasts to buy and play with. This new found love for the game entered tailgating circles and turned into an essential activity for tailgate parties. If you’ve been to a few of these get-togethers, you’ve most likely seen how popular cornhole is among sports fans.

The Art of Crafting the Custom Cornhole Board

The game of cornhole appeals to millions worldwide, and there numerous tournaments for all ages. The topic of this post is about the sport of cornhole. However, it’s interesting to note how some companies turned the crafting of custom cornhole boards into an artform. It’s fair to assume that the early cornhole boards were most likely plain wood, intended solely for gameplay purposes instead of art. Now, a Google search could easily bring up a cornhole game set painted with all sorts of colors and designs. It may not seem like a big deal, but the addition of these designs show that there are people who truly have an appreciation for what cornhole has turned into.

Now It’s a Big Deal

Back to the topic of sport, it’s important to consider what opportunities the game has for you. It’s no longer just a backyard activity or tailgating “thing”. Rather, it’s recognized by national organizations and there are organized events which you can compete in. Outside of North America, cornhole has reached a level of popularity since people of all ages play the game in various countries. Whether the game receives recognition as a legitimate sport or not, you have to admit how respected it has become. It’s worth taking a more in-depth look at how the game has turned into a mainstay of today’s recreation.

There Are Cornhole Associations

In the USA, there are bodies that represent cornhole players and games throughout the country. The largest is the American Cornhole Organization (ACO) established and based in Cincinnati, Ohio- the birthplace of cornhole playing in the United States. The organization has created official rules, guidelines for player handicaps, and world rankings. In addition the ACO, there is the American Cornhole Association (ACA), a group with a domain focused on the U.S.

There Are Sanctioned Tournaments

Thanks to official organizations listed above, there are sanctioned tournaments for those who want to compete. These tournaments occur in cities all around the country, giving players (and their teams) an opportunity to travel and face off with competitors who are just as eager to win. As mentioned earlier, there are rankings as well so players have a chance to receive some attention for their skills.

There Are Cash Prizes

Serious cornhole players don’t put money first, but the prospect of winning a bit of cash is certainly something to look forward to. You may not earn what an NFL quarterback like Tom Brady earns, but you can definitely pick up a nice cheque if you play well and go far. For example, the ACO World Championship cash prize amounts to $20,000!

Do You Wanna Compete with the Pros?

Are you competitive by nature? We’re you an aspiring athlete who still dreams of playing on a team? If the answer to these questions are yes, then you should give these competitions a shot. The beauty of the game is that you don’t have to be a genetic-freak or elite training to get there. Of course, you need to practice hard and practice consistently as there are those who sacrifice much time and energy to be the best. You’ll therefore want to get your hands on a custom cornhole board and start improving your game as much as possible. Apart from practice, learn as much as you can about the game and enter as many competitions as you can. You will gain experience by doing this, and discover techniques from more skilled players. The formula for success in this game is simple- learn, practice, repeat.

No Longer a Pastime

The next time you attend a tailgate party and see a cornhole game in action, don’t think of it as just a warmup activity. There’s a lot more to it. From what you now know about it’s history and growing worldwide appeal, you can see that there is a bright future for this game. Thanks to the support of professional organizations, there are many opportunities for you to enter, get ranked, and earn cash. You can even do these things on an international scale. So why hesitate? If you’re serious about playing, your first step should be the purchase of a custom cornhole board. This is your practice piece, the tool for which you will improve your craft as a player. In addition to a board, make the effort to learn as much as you can, including the rules, techniques, and styles of gameplay. With time, your skills will mature and turn you into a serious competitor.

The industrial use of lead remains a hot debate. Society knows of the dangers and the consequences are indeed real, but many of the world’s Lead has turned into a major problem for various industries, including toy manufacturing. manufacturers still add this dangerous heavy metal to their products. There are legal limits and regulations for the use of lead in many countries, but jurisdiction and borders makes these laws inconsistent when put under the microscope. As a result, it’s not uncommon to hear the occasional recall or for products that have abnormally high lead content. What’s worse, is that these products are everyday items which both young and old consume.

Of course, contamination can occur in any industry, but there are those that are more prone or are more well-known than others. Three of the industries that need to re-examine their lead abatement strategies include the toy, cosmetic, and ceramic industry. These are products which you can find in virtually every home in North America, and it’s frightening to know that manufacturers pump these products out by the droves. Fortunately, it’s not a hopeless battle and there are safety tips that everyone can take to remain healthy.

Why Companies Use Lead

The use of lead isn’t accidental. For thousands of years, the makers of various products have relied on the metal for its versatility. Middle Eastern societies, including Egypt, Babylon, and Assyria made use of lead in their glassware from since the 15th century BC. Ancient China also used lead extensively in their own glass products. Roman architecture and infrastructure is well-known to make use of lead, especially their pipe system. Of course, there are historians who believe that lead poisoning may have contributed to the decline of the empire.

Lead abatement will take a conscientious effort from industrial and government officials. Researchers discovered more benefits associated with the metal as time progressed. The low melting temperature of lead (327 degrees fahrenheit) makes lead very malleable, so it’s easy to cast, shape and join products made with the compound. The high density of the metal is perfect for weighing applications and provides shielding against radiation, vibration, and sound. It’s easy to see why companies have resorted to the use of lead in order to build their products. Of course, this has come at a price for the consumers- namely poisoning that leads to ill-health. Lead abatement has turned into a necessary practice for facilities in numerous industries and has led to positive results. Yet still, there are sectors where the problem rages on.

Industries Where Lead is Still a Problem

In recent years, product recalls have garnered significant media attention, many of them due to high lead content. Concerns over contamination have come under the spotlight even in cases where there have been no recalls. Studies and documentaries have taken “inside” looks at how common products are manufactured, making the high toxicity a matter of public knowledge.


One of the most frightening cases of lead contamination is within the toy industry. Although the use of lead in toys was largely banned, it’s not unusual for testing and sampling to reveal high amounts of the metal in these products. Paint is often the source. Although the Canadian and United States governments have imposed bans on lead paint, there is still the risk of imported toys from countries where such laws are not in place. Plastic used to constructed toys are also problematic since manufacturers used lead to make the plastic in toys more flexible. Exposure to the air, sunlight, and detergents breaks the chemical bond between lead and plastic, thus, triggering a release of the metal.


There are have been more reports about the use of lead in lipstick- allegations that authorities have confirmed. Although there is a dispute, analyses conducted by the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) revealed that up to 400 shades of lipstick contained lead levels higher than legal limits. The testing revealed well-known brands such as L’Oreal and Cover Girl as offenders. The FDA went to say that consumers don’t have to be concerned since the lead levels are not high enough to cause illness. However, many disagree with these statements. It is well-known that repeated exposure to even small amounts of lead can cause poisoning.

Ceramics and Pottery

As mentioned earlier, ancient empires used lead in a variety of their objects and architecture. Ceramic ware and pottery were among those objects, and the same still holds true today. Many people may have these items in their homes and don’t realize the risks. Ceramic vessels that contain highly decorated glazes are more dangerous since they often require more lead to maintain their appearance. Lead absorption through the skin is minimal, but the danger of these objects rest in the fact that their polymer coatings degrade over time. This is especially dangerous if you store food in these vessels since lead can leach into your meals. Although there are companies that claim to manufacture lead-free ceramic ware, it is known that a significant amount of these items remain toxic.

How Does Lead Abatement Factor in

Depending on the circumstances, the total removal of lead from a particular facility may not be entirely possible. It’s important to remember that lead is a naturally occurring heavy metal. As mentioned in previous segments, imported products (in the case of toys) can make lead abatement a challenging task unless the company thoroughly tests and imposes restrictions against their suppliers. The solution does seem simple – refrain from using lead in consumer products. However, this is easier said than done for smaller companies. Regardless of the difficulties, it’s essential that these industries address the issue to preserve their customers’ health as well as their own.

What to Do if You Work in One of these Industries

  • Has your facility tested and “treated” – If you’re working with products that release lead into your environment, it’s wise for you to seek testing and lead abatement servicing. Additional contamination will only make matters worse, by tainted other items or products.

  • Reduce your exposure and preserve your health – Also important are your efforts to reduce your own exposure. Failure to do so can result in long-lasting health problems. Lead can affect various organs in the body, including the brain, blood vessels, kidneys, and dental problems. Therefore, consider getting a blood test and following the recommended course of treatment if lead poisoning is present.

  • Fight for lead alternatives if possible – If you are in a position of authority, then you should strive to meet with your colleagues to discuss a way to reduce your company’s use of lead. This may be challenging, but it’s worthwhile if you want to preserve the health of your staff and consumers, as well as your business reputation.

What it’s Going to Take

It will take a concentrated and combined effort on behalf of the industrial, medical, and government sectors to curb lead contamination in commerce. Not everyone will agree with the standards and laws that may need to be implemented, but diligence on the part of world officials will be the only way to limit lead poisoning. Within your own organization, you can make an effort to keep this heavy metal from turning into a major health hazard. Consider hiring a lead abatement specialist where possible. In addition to this, stay proactive about finding alternative ways to manufacture products. Your approach to the issue has the potential to make a big difference in consumer safety.

“Speak up!” You may have had a friend utter the phrase after they discovered your reluctance to respond to a question or give your opinion. We live in a society that holds confidence and assertiveness as qualities that are necessary in order to advance. However, there are things that sap Apprehension can ruin your chances at career advancement. our ability to exercise these traits. Political correctness, societal norms, and the “need” to please everyone all work as antagonists against those “alpha” skills. It’s true that you need to possess humility and respect in order to negotiate, but it doesn’t mean you should sacrifice aggressiveness completely.

Aggression doesn’t have to mean screaming and shouting or raising your fists. You can pursue a goal and uphold your beliefs without the ‘attitude’. If you are looking to negotiate things like perks or pay, it’s essential that you maintain such a balance. Fortunately, it is a skill you can learn by means of assertiveness skills training. There’s no need to mute or put yourself on high volume- you can keep things under control with a little preparation.

Don’t Beg

Imagine you’re at the scene of a bank heist. Masked robbers who bear machine guns are holding both tellers and customers as hostages. They urge the cops to back off, or else casualties may ensue. The negotiator starts to speak with the robbers, but does so in a timid and pleading manner. Instead of reasoning with them, they beg them to “please stop and don’t hurt anyone.”

How do you think the robbers would respond? Would they give in? Most likely not. Likewise, if the negotiator threatened to harm them, his attempts to make them surrender would fall apart. For that negotiator to reach their hearts, he has to maintain a balance of calmness and firmness. The concept might seem like an oxymoron, but it is essential if the negotiator is to succeed.

In the negotiator’s case, a lack of assertion can yield tragic outcomes. In your case, a lack of assertion might yield missed opportunities. Sure, you might not suffer a tragedy over a lost project or position, but think about the professional and emotional effects that can happen. You might brush it off with an “oh well”, but realize that you might not get such a chance in the near future.

When Good Things Are Lost

With a lack of assertiveness skills training, a talented professional like yourself can lose out on your chance for advancement. When that happens, there’s a good chance you will feel frustration and regret. In fact, many people who could have had higher positions and responsibilities, forfeited these opportunities due to a lack of assertiveness.

Assertiveness skills training can help you approach all career endeavours with confidence.What Unassertive Employees have Lost

  • Perks (and benefits) – Some people envy their friends who have ‘paid-for’ spa treatments and training courses. However, some of these individuals could indeed have access to such perks if they were able to negotiate. Of course, every organization is different and not all perks are practical enough for the company to pay for.

  • Promotions – Within the hearts and minds of some of the meek individuals lies an overachiever. He or she wants a more challenging position or project, but they feel as if their boss would kill the idea. However, if the employee was assertive, the prospect would thrill their boss and convince them to give the individual the job.

  • Raises – One of the most nerve-wracking things for an employee to ask their employer is for a raise. The odds always seem against them. After all, it seems like their boss has three or four counter-arguments for every good reason the employee raises. Following an honest self-reflection, however, an employee should ask for a raise if they are confident in their performance. The individual might be surprised to know that the boss had plans for them, and a full plate kept him or her from asking! Unfortunately, many employers stick with the same salaries since they never ask for a raise.

  • Vacation time – There’s also the never-ending dilemma of asking for vacation time. Perhaps, an employer has been planning to trek through Europe or see the architecture of Dubai- a vacation that they deserve. They have been somewhat planning the trip with friends, but never made it official because they’re worried about their boss’s reaction. Like asking for a raise, if the employer has performed well, there is a good chance that they can embark on such a trip. However, many people miss out on potentially life-changing experiences due to a lack of assertiveness.

Grabbing the Horns Made Easier

The art of employee-to-boss negotiation can seem like a struggle, but it shouldn’t. Like a public speaker who practices before a speech, you can approach a boss with confidence and reasoning that makes your request a respectable one. Although there are numerous ways you can accomplish this, one of the first places to start should be a course that offers assertiveness skills training.

What You Can Expect to Learn with Assertiveness Skills Training

  • Fundamentals of Assertive Communication – By taking a course, you will learn what assertiveness entails and how you can apply it at work. This training addresses things like management of emotions and body language control.

  • Self-Esteem Building Tips – A lack of assertiveness often stems from internal struggles. Although a training course will not take the form of therapy, it can certainly feel therapeutic since you will learn how to handle anxiety, think positively, and make good first impressions.

  • Assertiveness as a Skill – It’s important to recognize that assertiveness is not merely a trait, but a skill. By enrolling in a training course, you will learn how to speak and act persuasively and disagree diplomatically. These skills are often learned by combining assertiveness training with negotiation skills training.

Don’t Let Aversion Be Your Downfall

In today’s marketplace, jobs are harder to find and harder to keep. A bad decision can cost you a job opportunity and a wrong move can cost you your job. For those with ambitions or requests, the prospect of losing favour with an employer can prevent them from even asking. That mentality destroys advancement. Even in the job interview phase, a lack of aversion causes people to accept all terms offered to them, even ones that could work against them. In fact, up to 49% of job-seekers fail to negotiate a deal when initially offered employment! However, with assertiveness skills training, you can avoid falling into that category and you can learn the skills that will help you approach your employer with confidence. Not only will your career feel more fulfilling, but the benefits of an assertive attitude will spill over into your personal life as well.

They say the world is like a fruit salad: So many different kinds of people tossed together, each one being different but bringing their own Bullseye! Clever visuals and a smart approach can draw the attention of your targeted customers.strengths to the collective. Anyone who has ever worked in creative services, especially in a city like Toronto, has dealt with many different demographics and types of people. Your product or service will never be used by every single person. Marketers advise that you narrow your scope and look at the people who will want it the most. This can be multiple groups of people at once. For instance, if you are in charge of marketing a cleaning service, your clientele could extend to both single mothers and college students – but probably not DINK (Double Income, No Kids) couples. Coming up with marketing materials that captures your core demographics and secondary markets can be tough. That’s where marketing companies come in. These professionals use visual cues, colours, taglines, and other tricks to reach out directly to your demographic. Sometimes their approach is bold, other times they can take a more subtle approach. Either way, it’s guaranteed that your core market will sit up and pay attention. Here’s how a smart marketing company helps you land a bullseye when targeting your main demographic.

Starting from Scratch: Why a Campaign’s Foundation Matters

Some companies have made the mistake of simply attempting to ‘re-skin’ a campaign for different demographics. You may have a template for posters or television that has the same structure, but different fonts, characters, or selling points. This is a major mistake, because different demographics require different approaches. These differences can be as fundamental as the medium you’re using. For instance, if you want to reach younger people, one of the best moves that you can make is to launch an online campaign. If you’re aiming for a more elderly market, then print campaigns have proven to be more effective. Creative services build your campaign from the ground up to best find your target market in Toronto.

Fonts, Images, Colours: The Visual Tools at Your Disposal

Once you’ve chosen the very basics of your campaign, it’s time to get more specifics. Fonts, images, colours, and so on are all extremely useful tools that can grab a demographic’s attention or alienate them. For instance, font has a surprising effect on a person’s brain. The font ‘Baskerville’ is seen as trustworthy and responsible. A study showed that viewers were noticeably more likely to trust the source after reading a line in that font. Meanwhile, ‘Comic Sans MS’ is seen as puerile and childish. In between these two extremes is an endless variety of fonts. Images and colours also allow you to diversify a campaign and better appeal to your customers. Think beyond your template and start considering how you can shake up your original canvas. By using layout, you can influence viewers to think one way or another. Simply filling in the blanks on an existing template is a good way to excite no one and bore everyone.

How Visual Images Have a Psychological Impact on the Viewer

The issue is more than just variety. The images you choose for your campaign can have a psychological impact on the viewer that influences their buying decisions. This can be a complex process, and we still haven’t figured out the science behind this reaction. Creative services know how they can appeal to Toronto passersby and get them to think a certain way. These preferences can be societal and environmental, which makes them an ideal way to target your demographic. Let’s look at the colour purple, for instance. This colour has been historically associated with wealth, royalty, and wisdom. If you’re selling a financial plan or a high end designer good, then purple may be a great choice. However, the reason that this colour has long been associated with wealth and money is because it does not occur in nature. Therefore, if you were using it for a natural health care product, the exotic and artificial nature of the colour might clash with your message. Meanwhile, orange has the opposite association: It is seen as inexpensive. This is good for financial institutions, as they want you to think they offer low fees. However, a high quality product such as a car would likely want to avoid the association of cheapness and low quality. The psychology behind images is extremely important when focusing on your target demographic.

It’s All About the Attitude: Appealing to Your Customers

Beyond colour and font choices, you have to consider the overall attitude of your product. Attitude is often associated with surly teenagers, but it’s an encompassing word to describe your customer’s prelidictions and overall stances. If you’re offering a product with an extremely serious tone, then you’ll likely appeal to people who approach life in a similar manner. Something lighthearted and fun will turn those same people off. Consider your customer base and how they approach life. Students tend to be more carefree, while parents have more responsibility. These ‘big picture’ attitudes can be helpful when creating your campaign.

When you’re appealing to your core demographic, you need to make a solid effort to reach out to them. Having a good product or service isn’t enough. You also need to wrap it up in such a way that your target market will care. Many companies have made the mistake of trying to cast their net too wide, or only caring about a very small slice of the pie. In order to succeed, you should aim for both your main demographic and secondary markets. Creative services can help you strike a bullseye on a specific slice of Toronto. If you’re interested in selling your product or building up a brand image, you can’t do it alone. Hire a marketing company to take care of the visuals once you have a direction in mind.

Growing up, you probably had bouts of poor timing regarding conversation. Perhaps you used a ‘kid-friendly’ word or phrase, but the issue was when you deployed the lingo. That verbal bomb, once it exploded on those around you, might have induced shock and surprise in your parents and the other adults around you. The aftermath was probably a strong reprimanding from your parents, but you most likely learn an important lesson. Sometimes saying things at the wrong time is worse than saying the wrong thing altogether.

There is a similar concept to adhere to, when it comes to business writing. Business situations and circumstances dictate the kind of proposal you need to write, and understanding this will contribute to the success of a project and reputation of your company. You can acquaint yourself with business writing etiquette by enrolling in proposal writing courses. In addition to training, you can always study examples of proposals online, and see how they are tailored for particular situations. The important thing is that you learn when to use proposals, since they are not intended for the same purpose. Not all business writing is the same. Proposal writing courses help you understand the differences.

Slice of Business: Scenarios That Require Written Proposals

Business, just like life in general, presents us with a variety of situations that we must navigate through. Some are gentle strolls along straight paths, while others are treks through tangled mazes. Since each scenario presents its own unique challenges, you can’t expect to use the same tactics to solve each problem. The same goes for written business proposals. Depending on the task or project you face at a particular time, you will need to write a proposal that suits the occasion.

For Example:

Marketing & Sales – Endeavours that involve marketing and sales tactics typically require written proposals. Since undertakings of this nature require persuasion, a business will make use of a written proposal to provide details about the plan along with clarification of confusion.

Mergers & Acquisitions – The addition, relocation, and/or removal of corporate entities is a major undertaking. Although some individuals may feel that such a manoeuvre is the best move to make, others may need to see the strategy behind such a plan. A written proposal explains the strategic vision behind a merger/acquisition and how it will benefit the company.

There are other situations that can call for a written proposal, and it’s up to you and your staff to figure out how to write them. Writing an appropriate proposal can be tricky, but proposal writing courses can help make the task more manageable.

Fiction, Poetry & Proposals

Before we get into the details of business writing training, here is a crash course on the types of proposals and their forms. Just like a creative writer who needs to understand his medium and genre for success, you need to understand the function of the proposal you are writing. This understanding will narrow your focus to the essentials, cut down the difficulty, and help you write with precision. All proposals are written offers from a seller to potential buyers. There are two basic types: solicited proposals and unsolicited proposals.

Proposal writing courses teach you how to tailor your client’s needs for success. Solicited Proposals

If a particular agency requests a certain service, product, or research from your company, you will need to respond with a solicited proposal. These proposals usually come in the form of a request for proposal (RFP), a Request for Quotation (RFQ), an Invitation for Bid (IFB), or a Request for Information (RFI). Most solicited proposals take on a formal tone since they present important business details. The details that appear on such documents include budgeting, scheduling, technical approaches to project, and an executive summary. Major undertakings such as an acquisition will often require a solicited proposal.

Unsolicited Proposals

These kinds of proposals are somewhat like precursors to solicited proposals. They function like a ‘leave-behind’ brochure and introduce the possibilities of new business opportunities, rather than attempting to close the sale. These proposals usually don’t present the same level of detail that solicited proposals contain, and can therefore take a more casual tone. If your company were to merely introduce a new service to a client, then an unsolicited proposal could be sufficient.

Here’s a Proposal: Take a Course!

No matter what proposal you need to write, there are some basic elements to consider. No client or project is the same, so there is variation in the style of proposals even within the same category. Failing to give these factors thought can misrepresent your company and make future dealings with your client difficult. However, proposal writing courses will teach you what to pay attention to when writing these business materials.

  • Audience – Who will receive and read your proposal? What is the industry? The better you understand who your reader will be, the easier it will be for you to gain their trust and support.

  • Tone/Language – The better you understand your audience, you will know what language and tone to use in your writing. It’s very important that you tailor your word choice to the person who will read the proposal. Remember, just because you have explained the right details, it doesn’t mean you have conveyed them with the right words.

  • Research – Before all else comes research. It helps to know who you are pitching to along with some background information. The use of statistics and facts can show your knowledge and passion for the project. However, research will allow you to understand your audience better and ultimately, win their hearts.

Get Your Timing Right

Like all things in life, knowing when to write a proposal is key. You can compare it to a marriage proposal- one must be mindful of their circumstances before they answer that life-changing question. Likewise, an understanding of a project makes it easier for your business writing to target the right audience and achieve its intended purpose. Most importantly, proposal writing courses improve your business writing skill and help you gain a sensibility for when you should write a proposal. By taking these elements to heart, you will represent your company in a positive light and maybe even acquire a new deal.

According to the legions of so-called ‘doomsday’ forecasters out there, our world will run out of oil in 2039. It’s hard to say whether such prophetic claims will come true, but at least this scenario makes great fictional tales. However, in the year 2013, where we’ve come to realization that just about everything has been created or invented, one could claim that the world is now devoid of creativity. Aside from the recycled, rehashed, and remixed ideas in the entertainment world, there are repetitive ideas that circulate in the advertising, business, and design world. If you are a marketing professional or business owner, your search for creative ideas might lead to dry creative oil pits that have been drained by the opportunists we label as ‘geniuses’. So where can you look for ideas when every reserve seems empty?

Take comfort knowing that you won’t have to relocate to some monastery in the Himalayas to find that divine inspiration. The creative oil wells are all around you. The natural settings and tasks you engage with on a daily basis can serve as sources of creativity whether you work with or in a marketing company. As hard as it may be to accept this truth, learning to identify your immediate surroundings can provide a huge boost in your efforts to tap into those reserves of creativity. Music can be of great assistance to marketing company employees for creative ideation.

An Expedition isn’t Necessary

So what if you want to be a modern-day viking, traveling the world on an adventure to seek new ground, new creative inspiration? Unless you plan to engage in some blood-gushing battles overseas, there’s absolutely nothing wrong such a journey. The experience would expose you to various cultures- a culmination of rewarding, exhilarating, and even bizarre experiences – that would naturally serve as creative oilsands.

However, when you’re in the midst of a campaign or major project, does your time and budget permit such an expedition? Probably not. That’s why you have to make use of your immediate settings to extract ideas. Also, remember that it’s not so much where you need to look, but more importantly, how you should look. So where can you start?

At Home

There’s reason people view their homes as a place of zen. Not only is it your ultimate resting place, but home is where you feel most relaxed. Ask any scientist or artist, and they’ll say to you that some of their greatest ideas came about when they were most relaxed. Therefore, you should make use of your home when creative ideas are of the essence since you can carry them with you to a marketing company office.

  • The Ever-Famous, Shower – Yes, it’s a conceptual cliche, but there’s no need to deny the effect that a shower has on creative ideation. You probably remember the tale of Archimedes, the Greek scientist who founded the principle of water displacement, and how he ran the streets naked shouting “eureka!” upon his exciting discovery. Scientists say that taking a warm shower relaxes us by means of releasing excess dopamine, and this allows our subconscious brain to make connections. Therefore, it’s wise for you to make good use of your shower time before and after work. Just remember, if an awesome idea strikes you, then put some clothes on before parading in the streets.

  • Vinyls and iTunes – There are few things that are as universal as music. It brings us together with friends and family and soothes us when we experience hardships. It brings us energy for moments and celebration and peace when we need to zone out. However, music is one of the most powerful tools when you need to extract some creativity. Apparently, certain music genres create distractions in the brain, and thus make certain tasks easier and more free- an essential mindset for creative ideation. There have been various studies that suggest listening to classical music to stimulate creativity. However, you don’t have to be a Mozart fan to reap the creative benefits of music. Whether you like mellow landscapes of ambient music, the upbeat rhythms of hip-hop, or the soothing sounds of jazz, throwing in a few tunes into your brainstorming session could trigger some unexpected genius. Music is a great idea although it can be too distracting at times.

  • Shut-Eye – If you saw the movie Inception, you probably bookmarked a few pages that taught you tips on how to lucid dream. After all, what sounds cooler than being able to change your life by means of dreaming! You may not develop such great command of your dreams, but adequate sleep will certainly help you stumble upon creative oil wells. Even the most obscure dream can lead to the discovery of some creative idea. And what if you can’t remember your dreams? The mere act of getting enough sleep sharpens your alertness and makes the task of problem solving easier, as indicated by one study.

A simple rearrangement of a marketing company office can stimulate creativity. In the Office

As you can see from the section above, ‘home’ is an impeccable source of ideas. However, the majority of the work takes place in the office, so you’ll most likely want to know how to find ideas there as well. Whether you work in a business office or marketing company, there are few techniques that you can employ to get your creative cauldron brewing.

  • Redesign (If possible) – Turning your office into a major renovation project may not be realistic, especially if you are in the midst of a campaign or project. Of course, adding some bright paint, modernist furniture, and greenery can alter the atmosphere of an office and the mood of its employees. As a result, these changes result in perceptual shifts that can lead to creative thinking. However, a simple rearrangement of your current furniture and office settings can create those perceptual shifts. Paintings and photography, hung on your office walls, can also open your mind to ideas that you have otherwise not noticed. Unlike a total office redesign, a few additions here and there can trigger the creative environment that you crave.

  • Play Games – You’ve probably seen videos taken within the world’s most forward-thinking advertising and design agencies. You’ll notice that a lot of them have unusual office “equipment” – foosball tables, arcade machines, basketball nets – things that belong at a playplace. However, these very distractions can take the mind off of a difficult problem, and help you land upon unexpected solutions to those challenges. So even if you can’t afford to have a Pacman arcade machine in your office, board games or even a few sessions of tic-tac-toe can rejuvenate your thought process for your creative endeavours.

  • Your Fellow Colleagues – In a business context, creativity is a collaborative process, and that means that bouncing ideas off of each other can lead to that one big idea. It’s a practice found in many organizations, especially advertising agencies, and the ability to add or remove layers onto ideas as a group often leads to better ideas? How so? It’s like that expedition you may want to take around the world. Exposure to different languages, traditions, attitudes, and knowledge adds to your creative arsenal, and you can get a similar experience by conversing with your colleagues.

Don’t Look too Far

So the next time you find yourself in a creative slump, don’t stress yourself about where to find ideas. Some of the most abundant creative oil sands are literally all around you. In most cases, what you need are the right tools to tap into them, and these tools often involve your manner of thinking. You don’t have to look much further than your home or office space to find those killer ideas. In fact, you can rely on simple methods to find creative ideas whether you work with or for a marketing company. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to venture out of town to find creative ideas since you might stumble upon something that few people know about. The important thing to take away is that creative ideas are everywhere, and it just requires a different view to find them.

Going on vacation is both fun and stressful. The process of getting ready to vacation is a part time job in and of itself! First of all, you have to take the time off work, arrange for the pets to be watched or taken care of and the house to be watched, and get ready to pack. Then packing, in and of itself, can be an ordeal. How many days are you staying? What are you planning to do? Should you bring all of your comforts, or stay nice and light? How are you getting to your vacation locale? Taking a plane is a dramatically different experience with different carrying requirements and travel times than going on a train, or taking a road trip. Once you get to your vacation spot, then all the stress must melt away, right? Sadly, that is often not the case. People on vacation have to worry about their goods being stolen and their time meant for leisure becoming an absolute nightmare. Forget any visions dancing in your head about criminals carefully planning a heist on your stash while you and your family slumber. Surprisingly, 90% of crimes are crimes of opportunity – the thief sees something that they think they can take, a lack of consequences, and they go for it. This means that the thieves you want to watch out for are cowards and can easily be scared off. Here’s where an alarm lock can become the star of your vacation hideout. This device looks like a regular padlock, but cutting it causes a piercing shriek that alerts security and terrifies any sneaky thieves. Read on for five popular vacation spots that your alarm lock can protect.

An alarm lock makes sure that any thief quickly loses their courage

Repel Thieves from Your RV with this Clever Device

Taking your RV out for a ride is a great way to go on a vacation with the whole family. Who needs a hotel or a campsite when you’ve got the comforts of a home on wheels? However, you’re going to be spending time outside of the RV, and this vehicle is likely to have things inside that a thief would find appealing, such as your spare cash, a cell phone, or a mp3 player. Putting an alarm lock on the door is a deterrent for anyone who things they can work their way inside your mobile home and grab your valuables. An RV can be safe, secure, and solid even when you’re out at a diner, visiting a museum, or just going on a walk.

Row, Row, Row Your Boat Gently Down the Stream Without Worrying About Theft of Tampering

The best part about the river is carrying out a canoe or kayak and going exploring! Heading down lakes and rivers can make you feel invigorated, as well as being a great workout. If you’re not up for paddling your way through the water, a motorboat gives you the same experience without the sore muscles. You can also find places you’ve never seen before, and really commune with nature. That being said, bringing valuables with you can be risky without an alarm lock. With this piece of technology, you can dedicate your whole mind to enjoying a wonderful experience instead of sweating and worrying that you’re going to get robbed.

Bigger Boats like Houseboats and Yachts are the Perfect Spot for a Lock

Sometimes a little boat just isn’t enough to satisfy your nautical needs, and you need to go bigger. A large boat like a houseboat or even a yacht is a large financial cost – the thought of paying another hefty sum to get proper security on the boat is a painful one. Luckily, using an alarm lock or two on opportune places can do the job just fine. Any ambitious thief will set off the alarm and bring the dock security running.

Go Camping and Hiking with Peace of Mind

Maybe the sea just isn’t for you, and you prefer to explore the forest or climb up hiking trails. If that’s the case, then you’d probably have a blast settling down in a campsite or heading out on one of Ontario’s gorgeous trails. Campers are used to securing foodstuffs from curious bears and racoons. Take the time to scare off other campers who have their eye on your phone or camera by clamping an alarm lock down on your valuables. Once that’s done, you can go back to enjoying nature.

Biking and Cross Country Exploration Feels Better When You’re Safe and Sound

A campsite is fun to lots of people, but it’s a little crowded to others. These people like to stretch their legs and hop on a bike to explore the world. When you’re heading down trails (and blazing a few of your own), you don’t have time to worry about your belongings. An alarm lock takes care of that for you. Clamp it on your bike while you’re getting a bike to eat, or put it on your belongings to secure them while you explore. It’s up to you.

When you’re enjoying yourself on a vacation, you deserve to actually have peace of mind and a relaxing atmosphere. Constantly glancing over your shoulder and worrying about wily thieves is hardly conducive to that sort of feeling. Solve your problem and take control of undue anxiety by investing in an alarm lock. These handy dandy devices scare off the vast majority of thieves and bring local security and good Samaritans running. Enjoy the best parts of a vacation and erase the negative experience of vandalism and theft. The best part about this lock? You don’t need to haul an entire manual on vacation to figure it out. Snap it on and walk away, and you’re done. If you’re eyeing a vacation out on the trail or on the docks, make sure to pack this invention.


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