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5 Step into Magazines Advertisement


So you would like the public to know of your company and services and/or products? A magazine advertisement is an excellent way to get noticed, but it is not so easy. This marketing strategy takes some effort and planning on your part in order to fully take advantages of the medium.

1. Which Magazine?


Magazines can be excellent source of advertising, but you have to know which one. Besides choosing a magazine with readers that will be intrigued by your products and/or services, you most likely want to choose a magazine with a large readership.

Determining the level of readership for the magazine should be one of the first aspects looked into, but sometimes the reports of readership can be misleading. A magazine may tell you that over 100,000 people will be exposed to your ad. That sounds great but the magazine only prints about 60,000 copies. Even establish industry standards such as the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) or research by third-party companies such as Nielsen can be inaccurate, to put it succinctly.

When it comes to determining which magazine sell best - I use this simple trick which I call the book store test. On the first week of every month, I will go visit several book stores and physically count how many copies of magazines are displayed. I do that again at the end of each month and from there I will be able to determined roughly (but free of 'third party' claims) which magazine sell well. In so doing, I choose smaller stores at good location, as these stores rarely keep extra copies beyond what they have on display - so I eliminate the possibility of copies being replenished ex-stock.

2. Media Kits.


When contacting a magazine about possible advertising, ask them to send you a media kit. The media kit will contain useful information and will provide you with a better outlook about the company.

The kits include:
  • Sample issue of the magazine
  • A rate card which explains the advertising rates, allowable discounts, positioning, etc
  • Advertising specifications
  • Circulation information
The media kit will give you a better view of the readership and benefit of placing your ads with the magazine. Some information may show intricate numbers into demographics and the socioeconomic status of readers.

3. AD Size.

Ad sizes differ and the prices differ as well. It is suggested to start small and see how well the ad is attracting costumers. A well worded and graphically intrguing ad will always be better than a dull but big. A good idea would be to look at the other advertisement in the magazine and see what your ads to 'stand out' from other ads, so you may choose to go bigger or smaller to mark a sense of differentation. This is something you will eother want to assess for yourself of by getting some advise from a third party. You do not want to seek the consultation of the magazine because they will obviously tell you to go with the bigger size which will mean more money for them.

4. AD Placement

Just as size matters, placement matters as well. Your ad's effectiveness may be contingent on it being in the front,middle or back of the magazine. This is another reason to get a familiarity with the magazine before placing ads within it. If the magazine is in the habit of putting their most intriguing (cover) articles in the middle of the magazine, then ot would logical to assume that most readers will be perusingthrough that portion of the magazine and will most likely see the ads palced there as well.

Unfortunately a lot of magazines usually call the shots as far as placement goes; or if an advertiser wants to have more of as say, it menas they will have to pay more money. Regardless of the size of your ad, it may be good to see if you can get it juxtaposed to text. A lot of readers grow anxious when confronted with a block of text and their eyes naturally begin to wander sor some other stimulation. A lot of publisher will block advertisements together. This creates a break from text, but most likely reader will not look at every single ad on a age full of ads.

Usually, a really enticing headline or out-of-the-ordinary coloring will make an ad standout. This idea will wprk great in the midst of the magazine, but will not be necessary in other sections. If the magaznie usually runs ads in the back and readers know this, they will already go to the back to make a possible purchase anyway. In this scenario a solid advertisement will serve you well, but it doesn't have to be as overt because the consumer is already looking to make a purchase (they are looking for you instead of vice versa).

5. Rates.

Depending on the popularity of the magazine, rates will vary. The good thing is though most rates may be standard, they are not set in stone and exceptions do apply. For instance, if you are a first time advertiser, the publisher may offer you a discount to make a good first impression or to assuage any anxiety in soending money with them to begin with. The frequency of your ads and the size of each will play a part in how much money you will spend with the magazine. If you make a long-term commitment with them (say over the next couples of years) you will most likely get discounted rate as opposed to an advertiser that is fickle in their nature with working with them.

By William Ng of SMA & Entrepreneurship Malaysia Magazine



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Recovering From A Lost Sale

It's the moment you've been waiting for. You're calling a customer to wrap up a sale you've been working on for weeks. You've confident that all your time and work will pay off. Then comes the rude awakening : your customer has already gone with another company. You struggle to find words to salvage the sale, but it's too late. The sale is gone !


We all know how devastating this can be. Sales people are emotional creatures by nature, which makes us so good at dealing with people. Unfortunately, this makes it very tempting to become negative and take it personally when you lose a sale you think should have won. Allowing that one lost sale to defeat your attitude will cost you mush more than just that one sale. Your poor attitude will damage your future sales presentations and therefore future sales, sending you into a down cycle.

The different between being an average salesperson and great salesperson depends on how quickly you recover from a lost sale. In sales, success depends largely on your attitude, which affects every aspect of your selling cycle. It determines the words that come out of your mouth and the actions that you take. After a lost sale, it is human nature to temporarily have a bad attitude, but a professional salesperson will quickly shake that attitude and replace it with the confidence necessary to get back on top.

You have that ability to push through your lost sale and quickly return to sales glory. It just takes some discipline and the support from those around you. If you're not sure how to pick yourself up again, try these steps:

1. Turn to Your Personal Foundation
Your personal foundation is made up of those people that believe in you and inspire you to be your best. This includes networking associates, family, or colleagues. These people play an important role in your personal and professional life and it is importance to use them when you need them most. Turn to these people as you begin recovering from a confidence-shaking lost sale. They'll know exactly how to get you feeling like yourself again.

2. Walk Away
Dwelling on your negative feelings will only make it worse. Until your attitude (and ego) is repaired, you're in no shape to be talking to customers. So if you're rattled from losing a sale, walk away and get your mind off of it for a while ! Something as simple as doing a crossword puzzled, working on a hobby or playing with your kids will give you that needed break to get over your lost sale.

3. Talk to the Customers Who Love You
Pick up the phone and call whose who love to do business with you. Make sure everything is going well for them or just chat. They'll remind you of why it is great doing business with you.

4. Read Something Inspirational
Having an inspirational book or audio program nearby is always beneficial, especially when trying to recover from a lost sale. Read a few pages or chapters of your book to rebuild your confidence and maintain a positive attitude. The motivation and inspiration you gain will help you get back into doing waht you do best.

5. Revise Your Plans
If the lost sale changes your monthly sales plan, be sure to revise that plan accordingly. Try not to make up the lost sale with just one big sale. It is more effective and realistic to spread the lost sales volume over several smaller sales. By having your revised plan and afresh, positive attitude, you can hit the road again and get back on task to hit your monthly sales goal.

Articles by Tom Richard - SME & ENTREPRENEURSHIP MALAYSIA Magazine




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The root cause of Bad Breath


In order to find a cure for your bad breath, you will need to start by examining the root cause of your issue before you can treat or eliminate it effectively. Bad breath is a common condition that affects one in four people and it is good to know that there are several cures that can get back to a fresh more pleasant breath.


There are many causes of bad breath including oral bacteria, food, smoking, sinus, dentures and dry mouth. Each of these different types of bad breath is related to either a chronic or shot-term condition. With little bit of guidance you too can find a cure for each of these short or longer term conditions.

1. Oral Bacteria Related
Oral bacteria is the number one cause of chronic bad breath and can be eliminated through regular brushing and flossing of your teeth and regular brushing or scraping of your tongue. Oral bacteria live in your mouth and seem to favour the tongue as one of its favourite hiding spots.

In order to resolve this condition, you must dislodge food particles and plaque from your mouth and so that bacteria cannot thrive there any longer. When you adopt a regular brushing and flossing routine, you can eliminate oral bacteria and bad breath from your life. For really stubborn conditions, you may want to look into water picks which will help you get into difficult to reach areas.

2. Food Related
Foods such as onions and garlic can course short-term bad breath and it is recommended that you eat a sprig of parsley, cloves, fennel seeds or peppermint to mask the odour. You will find that food odours cannot be eliminated because they originate in your intestinal tract and you must wait a day for the odour to be purged from your body naturally. One way to help the progression of your intestinal cleansing is to drink lots of water.

3. Smoking Related
Smoking course chronic bad breath from the smell of the tobacco and because it leaves your gums and teeth prone to gum disease which further complicates the condition. In order to prevent the risk of mouth and gum disease and bad breath caused by smoking. it is recommended that you quit smoking. A side from freshner breath you will realize a number of additional benefits from this action.

4. Sinus Related Conditions
The most common link between sinus conditions and bad breath is known as post nasal drip and excess mucus. The secret to clearing post nasal drip up in a health way is to thin the nasal secretions to allow them to drain more readily while attempting to identify the cause of these excess secretions.

5. Dentures and Bad Breath
Dentures can cause chronic bad breath when they are not cleaned regularly and thoroughly. Often times food particles will be cough in the appliances and unless the dentures are washed regularly and food particles will help oral bacteria thrive in your mouth leading to less than desirable breath and other potential health conditions.

6. Dry Mouth Caused Bad Breath
Dry mouth is a condition that can cause short-term or chronic bad breath because moisture helps to clean the tissues of the mouth. If the mouth is too dry, bacteria cannot be flush out of your mouth.

You can drink the recommended daily amount of water and juices to replenisj the moisture in your mouth tissues and this will help to flush out oral bacteria. Brushing and flossing must be regularly maintained when a dry mouth condition is present to control and minimize the potential of further bad breath.

credit to SME & ENTREPRENEURSHIP MALAYSIA Magazine



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TAX INVESTIGATION


The Inland Revenue Board (IRB) will carry out an investigation on a taxpayer if they suspect that there is tax evasion commited by a taxpayer. Tax evasion can be carried oout in various forms including the omission of income, understatement of sales, fictitious purchases and expenses and valuation of stocks.

What is Tax Investigation?

Tax investigation is basically an examination of a taxpayer's business and/or individual's books, records and documents to ensure that the tax paid. There are 2 categories of tax investigation:

1. Civil tax investigation
This involves detection of evasion with the primary concern of recovery of tax loss and imposition of heavy penalties; and

2. Criminal tax investigation
This is similar to civil tax investigation except that the focus is on gathering of admissible evidence with a view towards prosecution and conviction of the tax evader.

What trigger off a tax investigation?

An investigation is prompted by a suspicious that a taxpayer has committed tax evasion or non-compliance. Some of the factors which may trigger off and investigation include the following:

a. Unreasonably low gross profit margin when compared with the industry average;
b. Persistent failure to submit tax returns;
c. Failure to keep proper business records (reported by the tax field auditors);
d. Acquisition of private assets of significant amounts whereby the sources of funds are not known.
e. Informers (business rivals, disgruntled employees, lovers); and
f. Mass media (e.g : stories featuring people with new wealth).

How is tax investigation conducted?

The process of tax investigation will involve the following:

a. A surprise visit to the business premises and personal residences simultaneously;
b. A thorough search of all the places visited;
c. Seizure of books, records and documents relevant to the investigation;
d. Access, download and take possession of the relevant information from all electronic storage media;
e. Interview and take statements from the taxpayer and other relevant persons during the inspection visits;
f. The investigation officers will examine the taxpayer's books and records to identify fictitious or suspicious accounting entries in order to ascertain the amount of taxable income evaded;
g. Numerous interviews and meetings will be held at the IRB's premises to discuss the submissions made by the taxpayer/tax agent and the IRB's findings;
h. Upon final agreement between the IRB and the tax payer, a composite assessment will be issued. Penalties starting from 45% will be imposed on the amount of tax under declared.

What is the impact on taxpayers?

a. Most taxpayers found tax investigations to be traumatic experience;
b. Taxes may have to be pad upfront and this can be detrimental to the taxpayer's cash-flow;
c. Unproductive use of time as a lot of resources will have to be channelled towards this investigations; and
d. Disruption and possible adverse effect on the taxpayer's business.

How to deal with tax investigation?

a. Do not make any unnecessary comments or give wrong statements;
b. Do not argue with the investigation officers or view them with hostility. Be cooperative at all times;
c. Do not make a claim unless it is reasonable and can be substantiated;
d. Get in touch with competent tax agent and confide in him totally. All important information should be revealed to the tax agent so he has as complete picture as possible.



Conclusion
A tax investigation is usually a very traumatic and time consuming affair. A taxpayer can insult himself if he is well represented by an experienced and competent tax agent who can assist him in minimizing his tax exposure and penalties.

Knowing what is involved in a tax investigation, all taxpayers will want to avoid it. It is important therefore that taxpayers conduct their affairs in such a manner that they do not arouse the suspicious of the IRB.


-- Articles from SME & ENTREPRENEURSHIP MALAYSIA magazine --



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10 Quick Tips For Making Your Large Graphics Load Faster

By Heather Colman (c) 2008




There's nothing worse then having to sit and wait while the images are loading on your webpages. We've become a society of convenience with microwaves, instant soup and lightening fast servers. We want things in the blink of an eye.



Your visitors expect nothing less when they land on your site. You've only got a couple of seconds before they hit that back button.... and they are gone... to a faster site that will give them the information they want instantly!

Here are 10 quick tips for decreasing the load time on your graphics.

1. Use Height and Width (Size) Attributes.

Example: width="144" height="259"

Every time a browser loads a webpage it looks for the the height and width attributes (size) of each image in your html code so it knows how to lay out the text and the graphics on that page.

This all takes place instantly behind the scenes. When the proper attributes are used, the browser loads the text before the graphics. This is good. It's faster this way.

If you don't use the attributes, it causes a delay waiting for the browser to download the images first and then lay out the text. The browser has to play catchup. It can't load text onto the screen until it has figured out the exact size of the graphics.

Make sure to use attributes on all your graphics, even those little tiny ones, like buttons and bullets.

2. Size Your Image Correctly

Lets say you're trying to place an image with a file size of 30k and height & width attributes of 300 pixels wide by 400 pixels high in a spot on your webpage that is designed to hold an image sized at 200 pixels wide by 300 pixels high.

To accomplish this you've changed the height & width attributes in your html code to 200 x 300.

You may think that since the image will be displayed at the lower size (200x300), the file size will be smaller and the image will load faster.

Not true. Regardless of what size attributes you use, that file size is still 30k and it will load at the same speed any other 30k image does.
Use an image editor to change the size of the image to the correct dimensions first. Then use the correct size attributes in your html. By resizing the image before you plug it into your html code, the file size will be smaller and the browser will load it quicker.

3. Animations

Animations are attention getters, but they quickly become annoying. They also slow down the loading of your page.

Limit the number of animated graphics on your page and set your annimation at a specific number of repetitions rather than allowing them to loop endlessly.

4. Use the Correct Image Format

If your image is simple with a small number of colors try converting it to a gif format. Good choices for this are clipart, bullets, buttons, charts and such.

A word to the wise. Not all images are suited for the gif format. Complex images, photos or those with enhancements such as reflections and drop shadows don't display well in this format.

The jpg format is suitable for complex images with lots of color variations. A good example of this is a photograph.

The png format can be used for either. The high end png format (png-24) produces a beautiful transparent image and maintains any enhancements you've included. The file sizes are generally higher so if you're at all concerned about load time, you may not want to consider the png format unless you have the software and skills to slice your images. (See Tip #5)

5. Slice Those Images

Image slicing is a technique used to breakdown a large image into smaller pieces to make it load faster.

I use the image slicer feature in Photoshop but there are also many options available to do this if you don't use Photoshop.

Search for "Image Splitter" - without quotes in your favorite search engine for líst of resources for slicing images.

6. Limit the Number of Graphics you Place on Each Page.

If your pages are loading too slow, consider removing some of the images. Keep only those that absolutely necessary.

7. Use Thumbnails

Use a java script to display a thumbnail and load the larger image only when the reader rolls their mouse over the thumbnail.

I use this technique when I have a lot of images I want to put on one page, but the page would be too big if I included them all at normal size.

I got this script from Dynamic Drive. As long as you keep their copyright notice in the html code you can use their scripts for free.

8. Browser Cache

Graphics and text are stored in what's called cache on your hard drive. This makes it easier and quicker to load files that are displayed in your browser. It loads them from the cache rather than over the net each and every time, if it's available.

To improve your visitors experience, take advantage of their browser cache. The best way to do this is by not putting identical images in more than one folder, subfolder or directory on your server. If the browser always calls the image from the same folder, it loads much quicker.

9. Optimize Your Images

Optimizing your images is a great way to reduce the load time. I generally optimize images I make for my clients to about 60%. I've found this to be the magic number that reduces the file to a reasonable size yet doesn't compromise the quality of the image.

I caution you on optimizing further. Greater percentages of optimization may leave your images blotchy with speckled blocks of color. It will often make your colors look washed-out and you may lose some of the fine details.

10. Progressive Optimization

A sneaky little trick I've learned is to select progressive settings when you're optimizing your images.

This doesn't really make your images load faster, however, they do load first at a very low resolution and continue to load progressively, with more detail, until they are fully loaded.

Your visitor at least has something to view and content to read while the loading process finishes up. This technique works with JPG, JPEG, PNG and GIF 89 file types.

In Conclusion

As we progress into the Internet future there will come a time when our connection speeds are so fast the speed at which webpages load won't be an issue. News information and graphics will flash across your screen at record breaking speeds. We'll get there. Maybe not in the next few years but eventually we will. History has already taught us that the technology is here. It's only a matter of time before we see it.

But until that happens how quickly our webpages load is something we need to take responsibility for.

About The Author
Graphic Designer Heather Colman helps virtual assistants, coaches, and other professionals online bring visual impact and depth to their products with custom 3d images and website graphics. Visit her site at: CustomDesignGraphics.com .



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