Posts in Category: My Blog

Why Businesses Are Going Solar With Lease Options

Converting To Solar Energy With A Solar Lease

solar energy

Many eco-friendly businesses are converting over to solar energy and the benefits it has on the environment are huge. This transition will revolutionize how we utilize natural energy sources to generate power for our local grids. The application is the same across the board, but the politics differ from state to state. The states that really take advantage of solar energy are obviously the ones that have businesses is states that receive a lot of sunshine. Florida, Southern California, Arizona, and Texas are all leaders in the Solar energy movement. Solar panels are being installed on buildings, parking garages, bus stops, and any other piece of commercial real estate that will facilitate the installation of rooftop solar panels. Areas where rooftop installation isn’t possible, solar grids can be installed. Solar grids can be built in large open areas of land where industrial or commercial structures don’t exist. Going solar helps reduce the carbon footprint on the environment and can ease the load of local energy providers during summer months when air conditioning units are running all day long. Converting to solar is a fairly simple process, finding a solar leasing company to facilitate the lease purchase and installation of the solar panels is going to be the first step in going solar.

Solar Installation

After the paperwork is done and the lease is approved, the installation process can take 3-6 weeks. Panels need to be ordered, and inventory needs to be made of the components that will be necessary for installation. Rooftop installations are the most common and businesses with flat rooftops can take advantage of the real estate to build out complete solar grids. The amount of solar panels that a business needs is dependent on energy use. You will also want to make sure you are having quality solar panels installed, cheap panels made in China don’t quite last as long and therefore leave you in need of repair or replacement sooner than later. Having a solar lease specialist to walk you through an energy audit to determine how many panels you need will allow you to get exactly what you need and nothing more. Solar is often over sold since many solar specialists don’t take the time to truly evaluate the energy needs of a business. Having more panels than you need isn’t a bad thing, it means you are generating more power and if your local power company offers incentives or rebates then it can be even better for you. The issue becomes the lease payment, the more solar panels you have the greater your lease payment is going to be. Make sure you have an energy audit to truly assess your energy needs, talk with your solar specialist, understand what you are getting into, and then proceed with going solar.

Lifetime Value

how long to solar panels last

Solar panels can have a 20 year life expectancy before needing to be replaced. You will definitely get a ROI with your panels in the first 10 years. Most leasing companies want to renew the lease and usually continue to cover repair and replacement costs if you are still paying them. However, if you opt out of your lease you can avoid those hefty monthly payments after the lease expires and save that money for future repairs. The money saved on energy is one value proposition, the other is the benefit solar has on the environment. Together if more residential and commercial properties go Solar, we can help reduce unnecessary wear and tear on the earth. The value of solar lasts a lifetime, and the lifetime of the generations that will come after us.

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Finding A Redmond Mechanic

Finding A Good Mechanic in Redmond WA

I decided to publish this post because of an experience my sister had looking for a mechanic in Redmond, Washington. We have all heard the horror stories of how mechanics have taken advantage of women over the years, and honestly, I think there are plenty of instances where men have been taken advantage of just as bad. After searching for a qualified mechanic to repair her car, she ended up using a company in Redmond called KD Automotive ( KD is located off of Willows Road in the industrial area not far from the Redmond City Hall. She wound up there from a referral which is always nice. After talking to the manager she decided it seemed like a good place to do business and proceeded to have her car fixed at a very affordable price that came in far below what the other quotes were. Finding a mechanic can be difficult regardless which state you live in, so here are some helpful pointers to get your vehicle back up and running with the best mechanic in your area.

How To Find A Good Mechanic

auto repair mechanic Most Americans rely heavily on their vehicles for every day transportation. Whether it’s driving to work, carting the kids around or hauling the family on a well-deserved vacation, your vehicle is a workhorse. Since you use it so often, it makes sense to take care of its maintenance, much like anything else of value. To best care for your car, truck or van, you should enlist the services of a reputable mechanic.

Having a personal mechanic, or one that you truly trust, can be a godsend for your vehicles. A knowledgeable professional in any field is that knows you and your situation can only be an asset. If you are considering buying a used car, for example, having someone who knows which defects to look for can help you steer away from a lemon. Also, he or she can give you advice on how to keep your vehicle in top shape, and relay any telltale signs of problematic issues. When you take your car to the same mechanic, they get to know your car intimately, as opposed to going from mechanic to mechanic. A personal mechanic is more likely to give you a deal on services or parts whenever possible, too, knowing that you will be returning for additional services in the future.

So how do you find a reputable vehicle serviceperson, one that is skilled, experienced and affordable? It starts with research. Ask your family and friends for recommendations; they may know someone who can keep your car in shape that they trust. Online reviews can be helpful, too, to a certain degree. If a mechanic has a reputation for over-charging clients, you will see a series of comments online to reflect that concern. You will also see testimonials from clients who swear by their mechanic’s skills; this information should give you a good place to start with your search. Once you have determined which mechanics are close to you that have a good reputation, it is time to see who will be the best choice for you.

Interviewing Your Mechanic

When you interview a mechanic or take your car in for a service test, make sure the mechanic is ASA or ASE certified. These organizations require a code of ethics for their members. See if the shop is AAA certified, or has a good standing with the Better Business Bureau. Ask probing questions of your potential mechanic; it’s imperative that the mechanic knows how to handle a variety of situations and a variety of vehicles. If you are strictly a Chevrolet family, you will want to find someone who either specializes in the brand or can fix just about anything. For families that own a few different types of vehicles, it’s important to find someone skilled in many different models and makes. Makes sure that the mechanic can explain any problems in layman’s terms. It does you little good to have a doctor explain what ails you in medical jargon; the same is true with your car. You will also want to make sure that any recommendations the mechanic makes can be backed up with valid reasons for the repair.

You can always “test” the mechanic by bringing in your car for a particular service and then determine the labor cost, labor time, and parts costs. Get an estimate for the repairs in writing before he or she starts on your car. Investigate online the cost of repairs at other shops; keep in mind that specific dealership repair shops charge more since they specialize in a particular brand of car. You will also want to ensure that the mechanic has the proper tools to work on your car. Certain brands, like Mercedes, require different care than American made cars; and the mechanic should not only have the expertise to work on this type of vehicle, but the equipment to properly ensure it is fixed correctly.

hire a certified mechanic There are other attributes that a good mechanic should possess, like excellent communication skills. Not only should he or she be able to explain what is wrong with your car so that you can easily understand, but there must be an ease in the conversation. You may find a mechanic who is great with his or her hands but cannot convey to you what’s going on with your car, it may not benefit you in the long run, especially if you are looking for a long-term relationship. Assess how you are treated by the repair shop; did you feel rushed and as if your questions were not answered? If a change in the repair needed to be made, did the mechanic call you for authorization first? Were you satisfied with the repairs? Service is an important part of the entire process.

Your mechanic of choice should also know how to effectively problem solve. Sometimes, he or she will need to think outside the box to fix your vehicle. While you don’t want your car to be slapped together, you do want a mechanic who can conceivably repair a problem with more than one solution.

Consider, too, how you drive your vehicle. Are you “hard” on your cars? Do you go off-roading in your Camry? Do you own a vintage car that requires special care? If you own a brand new vehicle, you will need to find someone who knows the innovative computerized engines found in newer models. The kind of mechanic you need will be contingent upon the specialized needs of your vehicle. This is another reason finding a mechanic who can communicate with you is an important factor in keeping your car running its best.

Sometimes, you may decide that convenience trumps cost. If you find two equally qualified mechanics and one happens to be closer to you than the other, that may be the deciding factor. Or, maybe you find an experienced mechanic who checks all the boxes but another one who is willing to take your vehicle on off-hours, or even do a “house calls”; these are factors that may help you choose your vehicle’s long-term caretaker.

Your car is your baby; in order to keep it running smoothly, you need to find the right person to care for it so choose wisely!


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What Is An Expert Witness Testimony

Expert Witness Testimonies

Jury trials are a very precarious situation, one where there’s a lot at stake. Depending upon the nature of the case and its complexity, either side, or both, may want to enlist the services of an expert witness. This witness is one who can provide testimony to either substantiate or refute evidence that has been presented at trial. It could be a forensic expert, or someone who possesses certain technical knowledge who is called in to testify regarding his or her skill or experience in a particular field.

expert testimonyIn construction, expert witness testimonies are needed for home owners and developers that have construction defects and rely on an expert witness testimony in court to win the case for any job that has flaws. Building projects that are not done to code are also something that require an expert witness testimony. Companies like Goodman Consulting out of Oklahoma City are experts in this area. You can visit their website here at to learn more about the process and how expert witnesses in the construction industry work with home owners and developers in the court of law.

An expert witness’s duty in a trial is to provide fair, independent and impartial information regarding his or her direct knowledge of a subject, and to make it easier for the jury to understand. To be deemed an expert witness by the court, one must pass the Daubert test; a method utilized by the federal courts to determine is someone has the experience or knowledge necessary to be called an “expert”. If so, the testimony is admissible in court; if not, the testimony is thrown out. The Daubert test takes into account the following: whether or not the reasoning underneath the testimony is scientifically valid and if the reasoning can be applied to the facts in the issue. The court must determine if the potential expert’s testimony is relevant and reliable.

Not all expert witnesses are selected due to their academic backgrounds; some are considered experts just on their experience and expertise. While an unusual example, the movie “My Cousin Vinny” presents an expert witness that illustrates this point. Marissa Tomei’s character in the movie is called upon to be an expert witness regarding tire treads, even though the expert witness for the other side has already stated that the tires match those found on the defendant’s car. A car matching the defendant’s car had been seen leaving the scene of a murder and it had left behind tire skid marks. She is called upon to refute the expert witness’ testimony based upon her intricate automotive knowledge. The prosecution questions her true expertise; she proceeds to rattle off her personal experience rebuilding cars. The attorney then tries to trick her with a question he believes only an automobile mechanic would know; she soundly puts him in his place with her answer and he concedes to her expert witness testimony. While only a movie, it demonstrates the Federal Rule of Evidence 702, which states that an expert witness can be one who must have “knowledge, skill, experience, training or education” that will “help the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue.”

Expert witness testimony can be introduced in any court, from family court to criminal court. These witnesses, based on their knowledge and the subject matter, can command several hundred dollars per hour for their fee, making it potentially difficult to afford one. If you happen to be an expert in a field, you can join a service that provides expert witness testimony to the court. They will call upon you when they have a case that matches your expertise, and then you would proceed to provide the information you know to the judge and/or jury. You do, also, have to do your own research because your reputation can be destroyed on the stand if you are unprepared. Taking the word of the attorney that is hiring you for your services will not be enough; you will need to verify facts yourself to ensure your integrity.

Additionally, you must be an objective witness, testifying to what you know is fact. By trying to sway the facts to one side of the argument or the other will damage your credibility. Most attorneys would agree, too, that you keep writing to a minimum. Any notes, correspondence, reports, etc., that you may have written down, even as a preliminary outline, may be presented as discovery, including any reservations you may have, or any small opening the other side may use to impede your credibility.

When called to the stand, keep in mind that you want to be straight to the point, sincere and lacking in as much technical jargon as possible. If you attempt to “show everyone what you know”, you could come across as arrogant and condescending; you will lose the jury’s attention and respect with a disrespectful attitude. You will also want to be prepared for anything that might be thrown at you to make to appear not credible. Either have the attorney who hired you prepare you for potentially surprising questions, or read up on cases similar to the one you will be testifying at, so that you may see the situation from all angles. The less credible the opposing side makes you and your testimony appear, the better for their case! Recognize, too, that the case may hinge on your expert testimony, so you must ensure that based on all the information available to you that the facts you present are true and correct.

Expert witnesses have played a major part in some very famous trials. The trial of George Zimmerman, accused of shooting and killing teenager Trayvon Martin, claimed self-defense. An expert witness was called by the defense, and he corroborated the story that Zimmerman’s injuries were consistent with a struggle. The expert witness, Vincent Di Maio, is an expert in gunshot wounds, and he concluded that Martin’s clothing was in a position where he would have been leaning forward when he was shot. This, too, matched the story given my Zimmerman and many believed that Di Maio’s testimony was what sealed the deal: Zimmerman was acquitted of both second-degree murder and manslaughter.

An expert’s testimony can make or break a case, so it is imperative to find someone with a legitimate background who is completely unflappable while on the stand. They should be able to submit their facts in an unbiased, straight-forward manner, while maintaining composure regardless of the circumstances. Lives could potentially hang in the balance based on an expert’s testimony, a fact that has been seen in many cases over the years.

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Beware the 5 Self-Employment Challenges No One Ever Talks About

5 Unspoken Challenges to Being Self-Employed

On the surface, the life of the self-employed entrepreneur appears very glamorous. After all, they get to be their own boss and do whatever they want. Working in pj’s is fun and their whole life is carefree and easy.

But that is an illusion. The reality of entrepreneurship is far different.

Entrepreneurs face challenges and obstacles every day that would make the week willed crumble. In fact, many of the difficulties entrepreneurs face they never even talk about.

Challenges to Being Self-Employed

As a result, most people are unaware of them. This only serves to perpetuate the image the majority of the public believe. In an effort to share the truth, here are 5 difficulties entrepreneurs don’t talk about.

1. Extremely Hard Work

One of the difficulties entrepreneurs don’t talk about is how extremely hard they work to make it. Long days can be anywhere from 12 hours to 20 depending on work flows, volumes, and other influences. Sometimes they even work all-nighters just to keep their heads above water.

As you may have guess this can leave entrepreneurs exhausted and worn thin. If not in good health before starting their own business some could even succumb to illnesses.

2. Tight Finances

In addition to the hard work, stress, and long hours to face there is also tight finances. This is another of the difficulties entrepreneurs don’t talk about.

After completing work for a customer and sending an invoice they must wait for payment. It is not uncommon for that delay to be at least two weeks and maybe longer. Of course there are some clients who stiff them and never pay at all.

But most entrepreneurs don’t tell you this. Instead they grin and bear it all, often working that much harder to make enough to keep their bills paid. Some eventually get ahead and even make very nice incomes but not without a lot of sacrifice.

3. Little Time Off

Another of the difficulties entrepreneurs don’t talk about is having very little time off. This can create a lot of stress for bot them and their families. Often partners or spouses must work harder to in order to fill in the gaps.

Some family gatherings, birthdays, or sporting events get missed when schedules conflict. Kids and spouses can feel ignored, neglected, and unimportant.

4. Lack of Knowledge

Not many entrepreneurs own up to a lack of knowledge. However, it may be another of the difficulties entrepreneurs don’t talk about but should.

They may lack the skills to set up their own website or do their own marketing. Although an immediate solution would be to hire someone to help some don’t have the funds to do that.

The alternative for those with tight finances is to learn it themselves. Regrettably, this may be a contributing factor to the longs hours entrepreneurs work.

5. Fear of Failure

A fear of failure is a difficulty entrepreneurs don’t often talk about. Stress, lack of sleep, and other factors can play up those fears and make them seem bigger.

If their fears overcome them they may feel like throwing in the towel and quitting. If they have a good support system, though, they can get past those feelings of self-doubt.

Although being an entrepreneur does seem like a fun and easy job, it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. There are many difficulties entrepreneurs don’t often talk about.

Image via

This article, “Beware the 5 Self-Employment Challenges No One Ever Talks About” was first published on Small Business Trends

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90% Who Use Mobile Social Media Apps Check Facebook Daily, so Marketers Take Note

Mobile Social Media App Statistics: 90% Who Use Mobile Social Media Apps Check Facebook Daily

In surveying smartphone users to understand how they use social media, a recent survey found close to 90 percent use Facebook every day. The platform is a clear leader, with Instagram (also owned by Facebook) coming in second at 49 percent. Meanwhile, 48 percent of smartphone users reported using YouTube everyday , 32 percent in the case of Snapchat and 31 percent for Twitter.

The survey has some very insightful data for understanding how social media apps are being used across all demographics. With this data, small businesses can engage with their audience at the right time and on the right platform with the content they are more likely to consume.

For small businesses looking to increase their social media presence and engagement, knowing when and who is more likely to respond to your marketing effort will yield better ROI.

Riley Panko, Senior Writer at small business information platform The Manifest, which conducted the survey, highlighted the importance of understanding how social media apps perform. In the report, Panko explains, “Understanding how social media apps succeed is important for any business seeking to build an app that requires user interaction.”

The survey questioned 511 smartphone owners who use at least three different apps every day to find out how they are using social media apps and what features and designs keep them coming back. The demographics of the group surveyed included 72 percent females and 28 percent males with ages split as follows: 18 to 24-years-old (15 percent), 25 to 34 (28 percent), 35 to 44 (21 percent), 45 to 54 (18 percent), 55 to 64 (12 percent) and 65 and over (5 percent).

Mobile Social Media App Statistics

By far, Facebook was the most popular social media platform with 87 percent of the respondents. When the data was broken down into age groups, Facebook continued to do well, with 85 percent of millennials  and 93 percent of Baby Boomers saying they used the site daily on mobile.

Once they are on their favorite social media app, 35 percent spend 10 to 20 minutes while 34 percent said they use it equally throughout the day. When looking at times, 30 percent preferred evening use, 22 percent preferred afternoons and 14 percent liked mornings.

Mobile Social Media App Statistics: 90% Who Use Mobile Social Media Apps Check Facebook Daily

The most popular activities for mobile app users include consuming and interacting with content. Panko points out the survey results mirror the so-called “90-9-1” rule of social media, suggesting users consume content 90 percent of the time, interact with it 9 percent of the time and only share it 1 percent of the time. The survey data also reveals the percentage of people who actively participate and publish content, a mere 1 percent.

Mobile Social Media App Statistics: 90% Who Use Mobile Social Media Apps Check Facebook Daily

As to the type of content, 72 percent of users consume news on social media apps, with 64 percent searching for this content on Facebook, 11 percent doing so on Twitter and just 10 percent doing so on YouTube.

Applying the Data to Small Business

The report concludes by saying, “The majority of the time app users are only consuming, liking and favoriting content, as opposed to creating content themselves.”

If you are able to create the right content for your audience, you will get more eyes on your page, giving you a better chance for further engagement.

Images: The Manifest

This article, “90% Who Use Mobile Social Media Apps Check Facebook Daily, so Marketers Take Note” was first published on Small Business Trends

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Salesfloor Launches Platform for Small Independent Retail Stores

New Salesfloor App for Small Retail Businesses

Salesfloor has launched a new version of its app for small and medium-sized retailers to connect store associates and customers. The app brings them together using email, social media, messaging apps, text messaging and online Storefronts.

Salesfloor App for Small Retail Businesses

This type of direct access has, according to the company, resulted in increasing retailers’ online sales conversion rates by up to 10 times, increasing average order value size by 50 percent, and lowering return rates by 40 percent.

The Salesfloor app was only available for large national retailers until the company decided to try the solution with small businesses in late 2017. High demand led Salesfloor to launch an app specifically designed for small businesses in 2018. Being able to engage with customers in one app once they leave the store allows businesses to make personalized offers and respond to requests instantly.

Oscar Sachs, CEO and co-founder of Salesfloor, said in the press release, “Now companies of all sizes can empower their associates to serve customers online and in-store. This announcement is an important milestone for Salesfloor and for the future of small and medium-sized retailers in North America.”

Seamless Integration With Your Store

When a customer walks into your store, the Salesfloor apps let your associates and customers collaborate to get the right product, whether it is in the store or on your eCommerce platform.

Associates can further personalize this interaction by creating a customized version of your eCommerce site with items their clients might be interested in. The associate can continue to engage the customer with advice, live shopping services, new offers and more.

The customer can get in touch with your associates using the live service across any channel; including email, text messaging, social media and the latest messaging apps.

Creating Opportunities

Independent retailers are no longer just competing with businesses down the street or across town. Every business with an eCommerce site is potentially your competition, not to mention the giant online retailers.

By communicating directly with your customers and making connections, your business can differentiate itself through personalize services. Your associates can market directly to shoppers when there are new arrivals, sales or restocked merchandise.

Empowering your associates with the Salesfloor app improves the customer experience, increases loyalty and creates a long-term relationship.

Image: Salesfloor

This article, “Salesfloor Launches Platform for Small Independent Retail Stores” was first published on Small Business Trends

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BarDog Launches New Mobile Liquor Inventory App for Restaurants and Pubs

BarDog Launches New Bar Inventory App for Restaurants and Pubs

One of the challenges of running a bar is conducting an inventory. This is because the inventory is fluid (pun intended) and very hard to keep track of if you are not on top of things. The new liquor inventory app from BarDog Technologies looks to simplify the process by matching the content of your shelf directly to the app, making it easier to track.

The BarDog app has a single user interface which lets you organize your inventory, count it, log purchases and view your gross margins. And you can do this no matter where you are, whether it is on your mobile device or desktop from remote locations.

According to the American Nightlife Association and based on IBISWorld data, there are around 70,000 locations primarily engaged in the retail sale of alcoholic drinks — and this doesn’t include restaurants. The industry is dominated by small businesses owned and operated by families. More than three quarters or 77.6 percent employ nine people or less. So the BarDog app is going to help many small businesses eliminate a labor-intensive task. In fact, one app user said just that.

Pete Sittnick, Managing Partner for Waterbar & EPIC Steak, San Francisco, said on BarDog’s official website, “BarDog takes an outdated process and simplifies it. This means less time doing low-value work, and fewer errors.”

The Bardog Bar Inventory App at Work

BarDog lets you create a master catalog to organize all of your inventory while at the same time remembering what’s on the shelf, the order size, who you ordered from and more. It matches your shelf directory with the mobile app so you can make quick counts on the go alone or simultaneously with your staff.

BarDog Launches New Bar Inventory App for Restaurants and Pubs

The reporting mechanism has a dashboard with counts, total values, pour cost, spend by category and other data you can import to a spreadsheet or PDF.

It also integrates your vendors and distributors with a list containing payment terms, the name of sales representatives and contact information.

Pricing and Availability

BarDog is now available with three different pricing structures. The Pup, which starts at $35 per month provides unlimited inventories, master catalog, purchase and transfer log and more for three users.

The Dog goes up to $99 per month and includes all of the features of the Pup but includes unlimited users, staff training, user activity tracking and more. The pricing for the Pack is not available without contacting the company, but is structured for multi-location management along with region and location reports.

Images: BarDog Technologies

This article, “BarDog Launches New Mobile Liquor Inventory App for Restaurants and Pubs” was first published on Small Business Trends

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Las Vegas is the Top City where Baby Boomers are Looking for Work at Small Businesses

Small Businesses: Best Cities for Hiring Baby Boomers

If you think the edge your small business requires can be found by hiring a millennial, think again.

You may find more experience will right the ship. You can find this with Baby Boomers. And says Baby Boomers are actively looking to work for a small business all across the country.

Indeed scoured its site of job listings and user profiles to find the top cities in the U.S. where Baby Boomers are most often looking to work for a small business.

“Whether it be by personal choice or the rising cost of living in the US, baby boomers are working longer and putting off retirement for a number of reasons. Because this group of workers is still searching for jobs and looking to stay employed, baby boomers are still very much an important part of our workforce,” says Paul Wolfe, Indeed Senior Vice President and head of HR for the job site.

The top city right now where Boomers are looking to work for a small business is Las Vegas. Memphis, Tennessee and Riverside, California, round out the top three cities on the list.

This is the first time Vegas has made the Indeed list. Wolfe says other cities are new to the top 10 list too, including Miami, Washington DC, and Milwaukee.

“Our data indicates that baby boomers are looking for roles with small businesses all over the country. We find it interesting to see Las Vegas rise to the top of this list of cities where this age group is looking for work in small businesses,” Wolfe says.

Small Businesses: Best Cities for Hiring Baby Boomers

In order, the top 10 cities where Baby Boomers are most looking to work for small businesses are:

  1. Las Vegas
  2. Memphis, TN
  3. Riverside, CA
  4. Milwaukee, WI
  5. Jacksonville, FL
  6. Washington DC
  7. San Antonio, TX
  8. Virginia Beach, VA
  9. Austin, TX
  10. Miami, FL


This article, “Las Vegas is the Top City where Baby Boomers are Looking for Work at Small Businesses” was first published on Small Business Trends

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Tech Expo for Entrepreneurs Coming to Houston in June

The technology you deploy for the day-to-day operations of your business will greatly determine how effective and productive you become. Keeping up with what is available in the marketplace for your particular industry requires a proactive approach. Attending tech expos is one way of seeing what is on the horizon.

TECHSPO Houston 2018 is a two-day tech expo which will showcase next-generation technology and innovation in Internet, Mobile, AdTech, MarTech, and SaaS Technology from June 6-8. The expo is attended by innovators, entrepreneurs, founders, business owners, digital executives and many others from around the world.

You can get more details on the TECHSPO in Houston, as well as other events, contests or award listings and post your own events by visiting the Small Business Events Calendar.


TECHSPO Houston 2018

TECHSPO Houston 2018
June 6, 2018, Houston, TX

TECHSPO Houston 2018 is a 2-day technology expo which takes place JUNE 6 – 7, 2018 at the luxurious Houston Marriott Eaton Centre Hotel in Houston, Ontario. TECHSPO Houston brings together developers, brands, marketers, technology providers, designers, innovators and evangelists looking to set the pace in our advanced world of technology. TECHSPO Houston 2018 promises to be better than ever and we’re excited to see all the amazing tech companies and talent that will join us. Register today!


Entrepreneurs Cruise 2018Entrepreneurs Cruise 2018
April 22, 2018, Orlando, FL

Are you an Entrepreneur and need to get away and take a break? Ready to recharge, rejuvenate in new surroundings and be inspired by other like minds? Then, you can’t miss the 4th annual Entrepreneurs Cruise! Entrepreneurs Cruise 2018 takes place April 22nd to 29th, 2018 onboard the Royal Caribbean ‘Oasis of the Seas’ Cruise Ship departing Orlando (Port Canaveral), Florida, sailing to Philipsburg (St. Maarten), San Juan (Puerto Rico), Labadee (Haiti). Register today!

DigiMarCon East 2018 - Digital Marketing ConferenceDigiMarCon East 2018 – Digital Marketing Conference
May 10, 2018, New York, New York

DigiMarCon East 2018 Digital Marketing Conference takes place May 10th to 11th, 2018 at the luxurious New York Marriott Marquis in Times Square, New York City.
It’s the one digital marketing event you can’t afford to miss! Whether your goal is to reinforce customer loyalty, improve lead generation, increase sales, or drive stronger consumer engagement, DigiMarCon East 2018’s agenda will help attendees enhance their marketing efforts. Sessions will focus on building traffic, expanding brand awareness, improving customer service and gaining insight into today’s latest digital tools. Register today!

Featured Events, Contests and Awards

Spring 2018 Franchise Business Expo. Meet with Top Franchisors!Spring 2018 Franchise Business Expo. Meet with Top Franchisors!
March 27, 2018, Lafayette, CA

Don’t miss an exclusive opportunity meet face to face with select franchisors expanding in the SF Bay Area. The first 50 attendees will receive a free copy of E-Myth Revisited. All attendees will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win an iPad!

Growth & Success ConGrowth & Success Con
September 17, 2018, Online

This small business virtual conference is dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs at all stages who are stuck in the daily grind of building their businesses and struggle to get solid advice and guidance. An amazing panel of experts in various disciplines and business coaches will share tips & tricks on topics including Growth, Marketing, Management & Business Building for Success. Register today!

More Events

  • Digital Meetup London – Marketing Experts, Web Devs & Designers, SAAS & Others
    March 20, 2018, London, UK
  • Getting Certified and Doing Business with the Federal Government
    March 20, 2018, Hayward, CA
  • Bootstrappers: Grow Your Business Even If You Are An Introvert
    March 20, 2018, Sunnyvale, CA
  • LEAP Tech Talent Conference, San Francisco 2018
    March 20, 2018, San Francisco, CA
  • Business Networking for Professional Success
    March 21, 2018, New York, NY
  • Give Me 5: Winning Proposal Pricing
    March 21, 2018, Online
  • East Bay Pitch Fest
    March 22, 2018, Oakland, CA
  • How to Create Profitable and Impactful Event
    March 22, 2018, Atlanta, GA
  • Online Marketing Bootcamp
    March 22, 2018, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • BUSINESS LUNCHEON at Dragonfly Izakaya & Fish Market
    March 22, 2018, Miami, FL
  • Dig Deep: Unconventional Ways to Grow Your Brand Webinar
    March 22, 2018, Online
  • Uptima San Francisco – Creating a Business Roadmap Application Deadline
    March 23, 2018, San Francisco, CA
  • The 6th Annual Responsible Business Summit New York 2018
    March 26, 2018, New York, NY
  • 28th Annual Art and Science of Health Promotion Conference
    March 26, 2018, San Diego, CA
  • PATCA Consultants Networking Lunch-South Bay
    March 27, 2018, Sunnyvale, CA
  • Cryptoconomy Summit, Tampa 2018
    March 28, 2018, Tampa, FL
  • Uptima Oakland – Freelancer Accelerator Application Deadline
    March 30, 2018, Oakland, CA
  • AWIB Spring Open House
    April 3, 2018, New York, New York
  • XLIVE – Event Data and Analytics Summit 2018 – Eventtech Conference Las Vegas
    April 3, 2018, Beverly Hills, CA
  • Ecommerce Operations Summit 2018
    April 3, 2018, Columbus, OH

More Contests

  • Public Vote to Crown America’s Most Unique Small Business Underway
    November 8, 2018

This weekly listing of small business events, contests and awards is provided as a community service by Small Business Trends and SmallBizTechnology.

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This article, “Tech Expo for Entrepreneurs Coming to Houston in June” was first published on Small Business Trends

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10 Pro Techniques to Improve Your Business Blogging

By now, you probably know that blogging and creating other types of online content can provide a big boost to your small business marketing strategy. But it takes a lot of planning to actually make content work toward your main business goals. For some helpful insights on stepping up those efforts, check out the tactics and strategies that have worked for members of the online small business community.

Use a Content Scorecard to Publish Better Blog Posts

When it comes to creating blog content for your business, quality is just as important as quantity, if not more so. To make sure all of your posts are up to professional standards, use the content scorecard included in this Social Media Examiner post by Garrett Moon.

Choose the Right Keywords for Your Blog Niche

If you want readers to be able to organically find our blog content, you need to include some relevant keywords. Choosing those keywords can be a challenge, so check out the recent Abtech Blog post by Abasifreke Etop for some useful tips.

Get More Email Subscribers for Your Blog

To make sure readers actually see your blog content when it’s posted, it can help to offer an email subscription option so they can get new posts right in their inboxes. To get more email subscribers for your blog, here are some tips from Sandeep Mallya of 99signals. You can also see what BizSugar members are saying about the post.

Use Your Blog to Improve Your Business’s Online Reputation

Whether it’s through blogging, social media, reviews or other types of content, it’s important to monitor and work to improve what is said about your business online. The reputation you cultivate for your business can make a major impression on potential customers. Learn more in the post by Marc Prosser.

Shape Your Blogging and Social Media Strategy with These Tools

Choosing the right tools is an essential part of creating an effective blogging and social media strategy built to last. There are tons of different options out there. Here are a few essentials to include in your toolkit from Avinash Nair of Right Mix Marketing.

Wow Your Readers with Personalized Content

Creating generic content for your blog or marketing channels isn’t going to get you the specific results your business is looking for. Instead, you can create personalized content that’s catered to your exact target audience. For more on the subject, check out the DIY Marketers post by Megan Totka.

Connect with Customers to Beat the Competition in Sales

Blogging and content marketing can be great methods for making meaningful connections with customers. And those connections can actually help you improve your business’s sales numbers, according to Chris London of Pixel Productions. BizSugar members also shared thoughts on the post.

Consider These Budget Friendly Link Building Tactics

Another way to get traffic to your blog or other online content is by working to get more quality links to your content from outside sources. There are tons of different methods you can use to work toward this goal. Check out some budget friendly suggestions from James Brockbank of Search Engine Journal.

Create Content That Gets More Traffic and Links

In fact, one great way to increase links and improve your reach is to improve your content to make it more shareable. Anil Agarwal offers some tips for doing just that in a recent Basic Blog Tips post.

Use Customer and Competitive Research to Shape Your Blogging

If you want to create great blog posts and marketing materials, you need to first do your research. Digging into customer and competitor data can help you determine what type of materials are going to be most effective. Sam Welch elaborates in recent Marketing Land post you won’t want to miss.

If you’d like to suggest your favorite small business content to be considered for an upcoming community roundup, please send your news tips to:

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This article, “10 Pro Techniques to Improve Your Business Blogging” was first published on Small Business Trends

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