Dealing With Late Payments From Customers

Preventing Late Payment Disaster:

Sometimes, late payments may be the fault of the business owner rather than the customer. Customers drag their feet on payments if they are not satisfied with the merchandise or if they receive unsatisfactory customer service. Addressing customer complaints may speed up payments and keep a business relationship profitable. Of course, there is always the occasional bad customer, but customers should not be angrily attacked over late payments. This can ruin professional relationships and cause you to lose a valuable customer.

It may be possible to save yourself the difficulty of dealing with problem customers by vetting them ahead of time. Running a credit check can save you time and money in the long run. Some companies offer affordable credit check rates to small business owners. The information you receive from a credit report will help you determine whether or not you want to risk taking on certain customers.

If a bad customer manages to make it through the screening process, you have no choice but to stop supplying that customer until you are compensated. This is not a step to take lightly, but it may be necessary. For example, a customer who is three months behind on payments should not benefit from your products or services for free. If bad customers know that they can get a product without paying for it, they will take advantage of the situation.

It might even be necessary to look into professional collectors in extreme cases. Potentially losing a customer may seem like a bad business decision, but keeping one around who refuses to pay is even worse. Bad customers only serve as a drain on your time and resources, and it is always best to cut them loose.

Make Your Customers Aware of Your Payment Rules:

Always outline your invoicing procedure and keep a slush fund. While this may seem basic, too many small businesses do not apply these rules. Clearly outlining your invoicing and payment policies leaves customers with no excuse for paying late.

The policy should explain acceptable forms of payment as well as the dates and times payment is expected after a customer is invoiced. It is important to adhere to these policies once they are established. Breaking your own rules will not motivate your customers to adhere to them. You set the standard, and if you wait a month to even send an invoice, it does not create a sense of urgency for your customer. Set aside some time each week to send out new invoices and follow up on the ones currently out.

It might also be prudent to initiate a penalty fee of 3% on late payments. This serves a twofold purpose: it gives your customers greater incentive to pay on time, so as to avoid the penalty fee, and also helps to negate the effects of check cashing fees or cover the bank’s own late fees.

A slush fund acts as a reserve and provides a cushion should a customer happen to be a few days late on a payment. This will help keep you current on your payments while you chase down what is owed to you. A good rule of thumb when establishing a slush fund is to keep a reserve large enough to pay rent, salaries and services for at least one month. Hopefully you won’t have to use it, but it can keep you from being labeled as a bad customer.

Unfortunately, late payments are inevitable. Even with careful scrutiny and clear guidelines, occasionally customers “forget” to pay on time. There is nothing wrong with chasing down payments as long as it is done in a professional manner. Often an email or polite phone call is all customers need to remind them and settle the matter.

Make it Easier on Customers:

Some companies benefit from offering incentives for early payments or payments made on time. Offering financial or service benefits to customers who pay on time makes sense. Not only does it give them an added reason to pay their bill, it builds customer loyalty, and you want the loyalty of customers who pay their invoices on time. A two percent discount for paying within 10 days of receiving the invoice is typical in many companies. However, finding more creative incentives such as good customer rewards may distinguish your business from others.

Accept as many forms of payment as possible to make it easy for customers to settle their invoices. Businesses that only accept cash or guaranteed funds do not make life easy for their customers. People rarely carry cash, and guaranteed funds, like money orders, are not free and take up valuable time. While there are normally fees (up to three percent) assigned to vendors who accept credit cards, they may be worth looking into, particularly if you have customers who use credit card rewards.

Additionally, banks are competing for small business and might have some affordable options that make your life easier. Look into the option of electronic transfers. This makes it easier for customers to pay their invoices, and makes sound business sense if you have several repeat clients.

Discussing late payments with customers is never pleasant, but it must be done. There is no reason to make threats or become impatient. However, there is every reason to collect what is owed. Remember that late payments affect cash flow, which determines how long your small business will survive. Given the uncertain economy, small business owners need to be particularly careful when they are monitoring their payments and their cash flow.

For more information on how Bridge Capital can provide accelerated cash flow solutions for your business in the Suffolk and Nassau area of Long Island, NY; Please visit our website for more great information at

Considering a Reverse Mortgage? Top 10 Questions Every Senior Or Retiree Wants Answered

Are You Considering a Reverse Mortgages as a Part of a Retirement Plan?

Make Sure You Know the Answers to These 10 Common Questions:

As the global financial and credit crisis worsens, many seniors today are turning to federally insured reverse mortgages to tap into their home equity and, in some cases, to prevent foreclosure.

As the name implies, reverse mortgages enables a person who is age 62 or older to convert their home equity into an income stream without selling their home or losing ownership. The older the person is, and the larger the value of the equity in the home, the more money they can borrow.

Even though this market is a small portion of the overall credit market, demand for these types of mortgages among seniors and retirees has been steadily increasing. Many seniors and retirees who thought their retirement plan was on auto-pilot are now finding out they might not have the resources to weather this “perfect financial storm”.

It should come as no surprise since the credit market has dried up, the economy is in a deep recession, unemployment is rapidly approaching 10%, inflation is on the rise, and the stock and bond markets have caused the large majority of retirement savings plans to drop 40-60%.

However, even more surprisingly, this strategy is becoming increasingly common among the wealthy homeowners…and often times for good reason. Instead of letting this equity sit in their home and provide no tangible value while the real estate market plunges, even the wealthy homeowners have found a variety of reasons to use this equity and cash. Sound and common strategies for the wealthy include using their home equity to pay the taxes due on converting a Traditional IRA into a Roth IRA, purchasing second homes, distributing assets for estate planning purposes, gifting, purchasing insurance policies, funding grandchildren’s college savings plans, or using the extra cash to travel, spend, and enjoy their retirement years more freely.

Although this can often be a sound strategy for many types of seniors and retirees, there are also some key issues to be aware of and possibly avoid. For example, because the fees are usually much higher than regular loans, this strategy should not be used unless there are plans to stay in the home for at least several years. Other big mistakes to avoid when using a reverse mortgage are spending the money too quickly or misusing the cash by investing the money into risky or illiquid investments.

Below are among the ten best things I believe financial professionals should know and consider before using a reverse mortgage strategy:

1. Who owns the home?

Even though you are taking out a loan and cash from your house, because you are still the homeowner you will continue to maintain ownership and full control of your home. In fact, the title will always remain in your name, and you can always choose to sell the home any time you wish.

2. Can you lose the home?

As the homeowner, you can never be forced to move out of your home simply because you have a reverse mortgage. Of course, you must still make sure your property taxes and homeowners insurance are satisfied, and the house must also be your primary residence at all times. However, you do not have to repay this loan as long as you live in it.

3. Can you get a reverse mortgage if there is an existing loan?

Provide the amount you can borrow is equal to or greater than the existing loan on your home, you can qualify for a reverse mortgage. In fact, using the equity or cash to pay off your existing mortgage is one of the most common uses of a reverse mortgage.

4. Can you end up owing more than the home is worth?

There are several safeguards for reverse mortgages, mainly the fact that these loans are always non-recourse loans. This means that a homeowner can never owe more than their home could sell for, and both FHA and Fannie Mae guarantee these reverse mortgage products.

5. Are there restrictions on how the money can be used?

Absolutely not! Many of the common strategies for using a reverse mortgage include:

• Paying off an existing mortgage

• Paying off credit card debt

• Paying for long-term care

• Paying for healthcare

• Providing a security cushion

• Home repairs and improvements

• Purchasing a new car, boat, or second home

• Living a more comfortable lifestyle

• Help your children with a down payment on their home

• Give to your church, university, or favorite charity

• Take more vacations

• Help children and grandchildren through gifting, college planning, etc.

6. What are the tax consequences?

One of the most attractive benefits of a reverse mortgage is that the proceeds are always received on a tax-free basis. The reason this is the case is simply because you are using the equity in your home to pay yourself now versus later.

7. Do you need a certain level of income or credit rating to qualify?

There are absolutely no income, asset, credit, or employment requirement qualifications when applying for a reverse mortgage. The reason this is the case is because there are never any repayments due on any portion of this loan as long as there is at least one homeowner, age 62 or older, living in the home.

8. How will this affect your spouse, family, and inheritance?

As long as both spouses are age 62 or older, listed on the deed of the home, and part of the reverse mortgage, there will never be a change in this program even if one spouse should pass. The reverse mortgage only becomes due one all borrowers permanently leave the home, sell the home, or pass. Your family and/or your heirs will receive 100% of the value of the home minus the value of the reverse mortgage balance at that time.

9. How much money can you receive?

The amount of money that is available to you depends on your age, the value of your home, and the current interest rate. Generally, the older you are, the lower the interest rate, and the higher the value of the home, the more money you can receive.

10. What options do I have to receive the cash?

A reverse mortgage provides many choices and options for receiving your money, such as a:

• Single lump sum cash payment

• Line of credit or a specific dollar amount

• Monthly payment for a specified period of time

• Monthly payment for as long as you live in your home

• Combination of these options above.

Also, payment options may also be changed upon request to reflect your changing needs. And remember, all of these options listed above provide you the cash on a tax-free basis. Other advantage of a reverse mortgages include the fact that you cannot lose your home, you can always pay off this debt any time you want to, and it does not affect you Social Security or Medicare in any way. Like any strategy, it is not right for everyone, and you must be very careful with your choices with the cash. Also, you required to discuss, either by phone or in person, a counselor from a government-approved non-profit counseling agency.

Assuming this is the right fit, and the money is used properly, this can be both an effective and safe strategy for seniors and retirees to consider. By using a reverse mortgage, you always remain the homeowner with full control of your home, as well as have the ability to protect yourself against potential future housing market declines. Also, it is safe because the Federal Government stands behind this program and guarantees that you will receive all of your scheduled payments on a tax-free basis. Certainly food for thought in my opinion.

Six (6) Sure Signs You Have Been Hacked

There are several ways in which antivirus scanners try to detect malware. Signature-based detection is the most common method.

This involves searching the contents of a computer’s programs for patterns of code that match known viruses. The anti-virus software does this by checking codes against tables that contain the characteristics of known viruses. These tables are called dictionaries of virus signatures.

Because thousands of new viruses are being created every day, the tables of virus signatures have to be updated constantly if the anti-virus software is to be effective. But even if the software is being updated daily, it usually fails to recognise new threats that are less than 24 hours old.

To overcome this limitation and find malware that has not yet been recognised, anti-virus software monitors the behaviour of programs, looking for abnormal behaviour. This technique is called heuristics. The software may also use system monitoring, network traffic detection and virtualized environments to improve their chances of finding new viruses.

Nevertheless, anti-virus software is never 100 percent successful and every day new malware infects computers throughout the world.

Getting hacked

There are three main ways you can get infected with malware.

These are: (a) running unpatched software, ie software that you have failed to update; (b) falling for a desirable freebee and downloading a Trojan horse along with the freebee; and (c) responding to fake phishing emails.

If you can manage to avoid these three failings, you won’t have to rely so much on your anti-virus software.

Expecting that some day someone will release anti-virus software that can detect all viruses and other malware with complete accuracy is a vain hope. The best you can do is to keep your security up to date, avoid the three main ways you can get infected, and learn to recognise the signs that suggest your computer has been hacked so that you can take appropriate action.

Here are some sure signs you’ve been hacked and what you can do about it.

[1] Fake antivirus messages

A fake virus warning message popping up on screen is a pretty sure sign that your computer has been hacked-provided you know it’s fake. (To be able to recognise a fake warning, you need to know what a genuine virus warning from your anti-virus software looks like.) The warning will reassure you by saying that it is can scan your system to detect the malware.

Clicking no or cancel to stop the scan won’t help, because you computer has already been compromised. The purpose of the fake virus warning (which will always find lots of viruses that need to be eliminated) is to lure you into buying their virus removal service or other product.

Once you click on the link provided for that purpose, you will likely land on a very professional-looking website. There you’ll be invited to buy and download the product by filling in your   credit   card  details.

Bingo! As well as having complete control of your system, the hacker now has your personal financial information.

What to do: as soon as you see the fake virus warning message, turn off your computer. Reboot it in safe mode (no networking) and try to uninstall the newly installed software (which can often be uninstalled just like a regular program).

Then, whether you succeed in uninstalling the rogue program or not, restore your system to the state it was in before you got hacked. In the old days, this meant formatting the computer and reinstalling the operating system as well as all programs and data. Nowadays, you can normally revert to a previous state with just a few clicks.

Once you have turned back the clock, so as to speak, restart your computer in the normal way and make sure that the fake virus warning has gone. Then do a complete anti-virus scan to eliminate any traces of the malware.

[2] Unwanted browser toolbars

Finding your browser has a new toolbar is probably the second most common sign of being hacked. Unless you recognize the toolbar, and know that you knowingly downloaded it, you should dump it.

Very often these toolbars come bundled with other software you download. Before you begin a download, you should always read the licensing agreement which may contain a clause allowing other software to be downloaded with the software you want. Hackers know that people seldom read these agreements yet having these kinds of clauses makes the downloading quite legitimate.

What to do: Most browsers allow you to remove toolbars. Check all your toolbars and if you have any doubts about a toolbar, remove it. If you can’t find the bogus toolbar in the toolbar list, check to see if your browser has an option to reset it back to its default settings.

If this doesn’t work, restore your system to the state it was in before you noticed the new toolbar as described in the previous section.

You can usually avoid malicious toolbars by making sure that all your software is fully up-to-date and by being ultra-cautious when you are offered free software for downloading.

[3] Passwords changed inexplicably

If you discover that a password you use online has been changed without your knowledge then it is highly likely you have been hacked. If not, your internet service provider (ISP) has been compromised.

If you have been hacked, it is probably because you replied with your log-in details to a phishing email that seemed to come from the service for which the password has been changed. If so, the hacker used the information you gave him to log-in and change the password. Now he can avail of the service you were getting or, if it was your internet banking details you sent, steal your money.

What to do: report the change in your password to the online service provider who should be able to get your account back under control within a few minutes. If the log-in information you sent is used on other websites, you should immediately change those passwords also.

Above all, you need to amend your behaviour for the future. Reputable websites will never ask for you log-in details by email. If they do appear to do so, do not click on the link in the email. Instead go directly to the website and log on using your usual method. You should also report the phishing email to the service by telephone or email.

[4] Unexpectedly finding newly installed software

If you find new software in your computer that you don’t remember installing, you can be fairly sure that your system has been hacked.

Most malware programs nowadays are trojans and worms which install themselves like legitimate programs, usually as part of a bundle with other programs that you download and install. To avoid this you need to read the licence agreement of the software that you do want to install closely to see if it comes with ‘additional’ software.

Sometimes you can opt out of these ‘free’ extras. If you can’t, your only option, if you want to be sure you are not going to be hacked, is not to download the software you do want to install.

What to do: the first thing you should do (in Windows) is to go to Add or Remove Programs in the Control Panel. However, the software program may not show up there in the list. In so, there are plenty of programs available on the Internet (usually for free) which will show all the programs installed on your computer and enable you to disable them selectively.

This approach has two problems. Firstly, these free programs cannot guarantee to find every installed program. Secondly, unless you are an expert, you will find it hard to determine what are and what are not legitimate programs.

You could, of course, just disable a program you don’t recognise and restart your computer. If some functionality you need is no longer working, you can re-enable the program.

However, your best bet in my view is to stop taking risks (and wasting time) by calling an expert technician at an online computer maintenance company who can scrutinise your system for illegitimate programs and delete them as necessary.

[5] Cursor moving around and starting programs

Cursors can move around randomly at times without doing anything in particular. This is usually due to problems with hardware.

But if your cursor begins moving itself and makes the correct choices to run particular programs, you can bet your last dollar that you’ve been hacked and that your mouse is being controlled by humans.

The hackers who can take control of your computer in this way can start working in your system at any time. However they will usually wait until it has been idle for a long time (eg, during the early hours of the morning) before they start using it, which is why it is important that you turn off your computer at night and disconnect it physically from the internet.

Hackers will use their ability to open and close programs remotely to break into your bank accounts and transfer money, buy and sell your stocks and shares, and do all sorts of other nefarious deeds in order to deprive you of your treasure.

What to do: If your computer suddenly swings into action some night, you should turn it off as soon as possible. However, before you do so, try to find out what the hacker is interested in and what they are trying to do. If you have a digital camera handy or a smartphone, take a few pictures of the screen to document what the hacker is doing.

After you have closed it down, disconnect your computer from the internet and call for professional help. To solve this problem you will need expert help from an online computer maintenance firm.

But before you call for help, use another computer that is known to be good, to change all your log-in details for your online accounts. Check your bank accounts, stockbroker accounts and so on. If you discover that you have lost money or other valuables, call the police and make a complaint.

You have to take this kind of attack seriously and the only option you should choose for recovery if a complete clean-out and re-installation of your operating system and applications.

But before you do so, if you have suffered financial losses, give a forensic team access to your computer so they can check exactly what took place. You may need a report from them to recover your monetary losses from your insurer, banker, broker or online merchant.

[6] Anti-virus program, Task Manager or Registry Editor disabled and won’t restart

Stuff can happen, so one of these three applications could go wrong on its own. Two of them might go wrong at the same time in a million-to-one coincidence. But when all three go wrong together…

In fact, a lot of malware does try to protect itself by degrading these three applications so either they won’t start or they start in a reduced state.

What to do: you cannot know what really happened, so you should perform a complete restoration of your computer system.

In conclusion

The above are just six fairly common signs that you have been hacked. There are plenty more.

These include: money missing from your bank account; your internet searches being redirected to places to which you do not want to go; being plagued by pop-up ads when you visit websites that normally don’t generate them; and so on.

Once you’ve been hacked you can never really know for sure what’s going on inside your system. A compromised system can never be fully trusted.

If, like me, you are risk-adverse, the best thing to do when you’ve been hacked is to perform a complete restoration of your system to a known good state. The simplest and most reliable way to do this is to call on the services of an online computer maintenance company.

How to Buy PC Games That You Love at an Affordable Price

PC games are no doubt pretty popular among both young and the old. There are new and more interesting games being released almost every single day. Just browse on the internet and you would come across millions of these games ready to captivate your mind. Computer games are no doubt cheaper than the other luxury goods that we may think about buying. While many also invest in gaming consoles and video game devices, you can use your PC to play various equally interesting games. As you buy PC games, you also get the keys that would allow you to play it all over again when you want as it is already loaded in your PC.

Having a good PC with faster performance can be really helpful. While you are ready with your system and want to buy PC games, you may want to take some time to choose the games that you can play again and again as well as to get those in an affordable price.

Trial Versions

It always helps you get fair amount of idea about the games you wish to pay for. Most of the games are available in trial versions which give you a sneak peak into the games as well as give you a feel of the game. And if you find that up to your taste, you may go ahead and pay for the full version. While trail versions are no way to get complete idea about the game, they definitely give you a taste of it. It is much better than buying a game that you do not like playing.

Buy Games Online – Direct Download

There are many websites that allow you to buy PC games by paying with your   credit   cards  of using a payment gateway. This is an easy way to buy games online and to download the full versions of the games that you like. There are thousands of games available for you to buy. But make sure you choose a website that doesn’t dig a hole in your pocket while you pay for your favorite games. There are certain websites that also offer online auctions for PC games. You can place your bid with a lower price and wait for the auction to get over. This would help you download games to your PC directly for a real cheap price.

Buy PC Games in CDs or Disks

You can even visit online stores to buy games that are big and come in large file sizes. These websites accept  credit   card  or payment gateway money transfer and ship the CDs of Disks to your home. You can then install it in the PC and start playing. Many games that are not yet released but have already got rave reviews are also bought in this manner. This is a good way to lay your hands on still to be released games and you can boast about your new game while it is not yet out in the market.

It always helps to check your PC configuration and then choose the games. You can even read the reviews and find out what other gamers opine about the specific games you want to buy before actually paying for them. Also there are thousands of websites that offer free games for you to download and play.

If you have been dying to play some new games with brilliant images and a different and unique story behind it, then you can download Vraz. It is an arcade game which can captivate your senses. All the graphics have been taken from hand-painted 2D images that give you the feel of an adventure cartoon story as you play along. Zatun Games provides you with the opportunity to explore a world of fantasy. Come visit us at for further information.

Water Damage Restoration – WRT Exam

The Water Damage Restoration Technician test by the IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification). Water Damage Restoration Technician is a designation that a professional restorer needs to prove that he or she is compiling with the most prevalent standards in the restoration industry. It has become increasingly important for a professional who is performing water damage restoration services to have “WRT” designation. Most companies that hire you require it and insurance companies that hire the companies that provide the service require that their technicians be certified.

Since I first took my class ninteen years ago, the material and the test have evolved greatly. There is a lot more information. The class used to be a two day class, but now it is a three day class. There are also five day classes offered that let you take the WRT/ASD (Applied Structural Drying) together. The newest WRT update was published in April of 2006. It is approved by ANSI (Approved National American Standards).

Important items you should know about the test:

Get the book from your teacher prior to attending the class (if possible). Read a few pages everyday. Usually the highlighted parts in the manual are extremely important to know and will defnitely be seen on your test.

Make sure you understand psychrometry completely.

Test has a total of one hundred and sixty multiple choice questions.

The correct answer is not always the only right answer, but rather the best answer.

Currently the answers need to be filled in on a Scantron sheet with a # 2 pencil.

There is no time limit for you to complete the test.

You need to get 75 percent to pass.

It may take up to six weeks to get your results and they are mailed directly to you.

It is also available in Spanish if you request to take it Spanish when registering.

The certification you get is a personal certification and stays with you regardless of who you work for.

Currently the test costs $50.

Cash, personal check, business check and credit cards are accepted. Checks need to be made to the IICRC.

Although I can’t tell you the questions on the test, I can give you a good example of what you will see on the test. Answering the questions below will also help you in figuring out how well you’ll perform on the test.

IICRC WDR Test Examples:

(1) The study of the relationship between air volume and the amount of moisture it holds at a specific temperature expressed as a percentage of that air’s total moisture holding capacity is called:

A) Drying

B) Humidity

C) Psychrometry

D) Ambiance

(2) Harmful microorganisms present in blood or other potentially infectious materials, that could cause disease or death in humans are know as:

A) Bacteria

B) Bloodborne pathogen

(C) Malaise

D) Humectant

(3) Any material that absorbs and retains moisture retains moisture or water vapor from air is know to be:

A) Hepatotoxin

B) Mesophilic

C) Mycotoxin

D) Hygroscopic

(4) Delamination means:

A) Seperation of primary and secondary damage

B) Seperation of primary and secondary backing

C) None of the above

D) A and B both

(5) The person at an insurance company that interprets a policy and works with contractors involved in restoration is known as?

A) Inspector

B) Agent

C) Adjuster

D) Risk manager

(6) The following are potential routes of exposure for workers?

A) Inhalation, contact with mucous membranes, ingestion and dermal

B) Physical, mental, combined and thermal

C) All of the above

D) None of the above

(7) What does H.A.T.T an acronym for?

A) Hot, Alveolar, Temperature, Test

B) Hydrostatic, Absorption, Toxicity, Threshold Limit Value

C) Haitian Cotton, Absorption, Textile, Temperature

D) Humidity, Airflow, Temperature, Time

It isn’t as easy as you think. If you have taken the carpet cleaning technician test before or the upholstery cleaning technician test before, you should know that unless you have a background in Biology, you will have to study hard to pass this one.

Since I received a deluge of requests from people wanting to know the answers to test for CCT. I thought I would just add a link on the my website with the answers. Visit the Magic Wand Company website below and select the Article tab then WRT Test Answers.

The purpose of the test is to make sure that a technician learns as much as possible to do his/her job well. I would be happy to help you in your endeavor to learn. Whether you need carpet cleaning supplies or restoration supplies or not, you are welcome to contact me.

GNC Whey Protein Shake Review

GNC is a brand that has been around for a very long time. Many bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts consume whey shakes produced by GNC on a regular basis. But do these drinks really work? Let’s take a look.

Taste: The first thing you need to consider is the taste. If the taste isn’t something you are comfortable with, the rest doesn’t really matter – you are just not going to want to buy the protein shakes anymore since you are not going to consume them regularly. So taste is of utmost importance. Many customers of GNC has found the taste to be pleasant. The powders can be mixed with cold water, and the drink will taste just like a great tasting milk shake. You can, of course, choose from various flavors such as chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. Chocolate flavor is highly recommended.

Protein: You also want your protein powder to give you more value. The average protein per serving for most protein products works out to around 20 grams to 25 grams. GNC protein shakes fall within this range, so customers are happy with what they are getting so far. If you are actively working out at least 3 times a day, you should be drinking at least 1 to 2 protein shakes daily, depending on your own personal protein needs. As GNC protein shakes are made from high quality whey protein, you can expect to see quick results – fast muscle growth and quick muscle recovery.

If you want to try out the protein powder to see if it works, do this simple test. Take a protein shake once a day for about 4 weeks. Continue your workout as per normal. After 4 weeks, stop the whey protein consumption completely and continue working out with the usual intensity. See if you notice any difference. Chances are, due to slower recovery, you will find it harder to continue your usual routine.

Mix: How the powder mixes with the drink has something to do with the overall taste. Some protein powders don’t mix very well with water. As a result, the drink becomes clumpy. That is usually an indication that the powder is of low quality. Higher quality powders like those produced by GNC has been known to mix instantly with water. That means you can expect the drink to taste smooth without clumpy lumps. It’s easier to consume the drink and the taste is also more pleasant.

Price: Finally, you have the element of price. Assuming that you like the taste and the overall quality of the products, you still have to find something that fits into your monthly budgets. Some whey protein powders can cost you quite a bundle – especially those that are claimed to be used by bodybuilding professionals. GNC whey powders have been known to be reasonably priced to appeal to the mass market. It is not the cheapest, but it’s also not the most expensive.

GNC products are highly recommended for serious fitness amateurs and hardcore professionals. The protein drinks have been proven to work and they taste great.

10 Steps to Creating a Successful Warrior Special Offer

As an Internet Marketer I love creating Warrior Special Offers, (also known as WSO’s) they are quite simply one of the fastest ways to make money online. However, listing a Warrior Special Offer does not guarantee success. Here are a few things you should do if you want to make your offer a success.

1. Increase Your Post Count: Increase your post count, by simply posting on the Warrior Forum, but be sure to give value by asking and answering questions and avoiding “me too” comments. It isn’t hard to genuinely increase your post count by simply browsing the forum, finding a thread that interests you and getting involved in the conversation. Above all GIVE VALUE!

2. Use High Quality Graphics on Your Warrior Special Offer: Using high quality graphics on your WSO makes the whole thing look a lot more professional. Grainy, unclear and low quality images can really ruin the look of any WSO and can make it look “cheap.” Also avoid using a white background on your images as the Warrior Forum is an off white color. Use a png format image or make sure your images have the hex code f5f5f5.

3. Always Reply Quickly, Confidently and Positively to any Queries. When you receive questions about your WSO make sure you answer quickly. Be confident in your responses and if you need to do some research before you answer any questions. If people don’t have confidence in your replies they wont have any confidence in your product.

4. Consider Partnering up With Someone: “Two heads are better than one.” That phrase applies to most things, including a WSO, as with any offer you if you can partner up with a fellow marketer then you could potentially double your sales. With two marketers comes, two mailing lists, two affiliates lists and two sets of skills and expertise. This would also be a good idea for someone with no WSO experience, if you could partner up with someone who is familiar with launching WSO’s then obviously that would be invaluable.

5. Research WSO’s Related to Your Product: When trying to create a successful WSO surely the best thing to do would be to take a look at current successful WSO’s related to your own to get ideas on how to make your own as good as it can be. Obviously don’t just go copying someone else’s WSO but there is no harm in looking for ideas and tips on how to provide more value and make more sales. So check out the most successful WSO’s and ‘model’ them when you create your own.

6. Create an Affiliates Page: Why do 99% of marketers who list WSO’s not have a dedicated affiliates page? If you want to attract affiliates create a dedicated page and give them all the info they need about your product. The front end offer, sales flow, price, commissions, etc. Give them email copy, blog copy, graphics and anything else they may need to promote your WSO. Most affiliates are lazy and you need to go out of your way to make sure they have everything they need.

7. Use an Attention Grabbing Title and Headline: This really does go without saying, an attention grabbing title and headline is a must for any Warrior Special Offer. This is the first thing that any potential customer will see when browsing the Warrior Forum and when viewing your WSO, so it needs to be enticing enough to keep the visitor on the page and ultimately reading your sales copy.

8. Show People Exactly What They Get: When selling any product it is vital that any potential customer knows exactly what it is they are going to be buying, otherwise they simply won’t buy it. You wouldn’t buy a house without having a good look round would you? You can do this by creating video tours, taking screen shots and explaining exactly what the product delivers. Not only can this increase conversions but it also keeps refund rates down

9. Make The Offer a “No Brainer”: Make them an offer they cant refuse. You should always try to make sure you offer as much value for money as you can, If you have been browsing the Warrior Forum for any length of time you may have noticed that most WSO’s are very, very low cost. After all they are called Warrior Special Offers. If you can make it so that your product offers huge value for money then rest assured that the sales will flood in. I have actually found $5 to be the magic price point and have sold many of my products that originally cost $97 for only $5 as a Warrior Special Offer. Now you may be thinking that by making your offer low cost that you will not make much money, well you’d be wrong, yes each initial sale with be low, but you will make a lot more total sales and there is always more money to be made with Upsells.

10. Always Have Upsells/Downsells: Now come on, anyone who has been in the Internet Marketing business for more than 5 minutes should know that if you haven’t got upsells and or downsells in your offer then you are simply throwing money away. I don’t want to go to much into how they work and why they are so important but just think of this. Anyone who buys your product, is in the buying mood, they are sitting there with   credit   card  in hand, on your page, they obviously like what you sell or they wouldn’t have bought your first offer. So why not offer them something else some extra information, some more value? You would be crazy not to right? So make sure you have an upsell and or downsell in place, don’t throw money away. Also, having upsells in place attracts more affiliates as they know they can increase their commissions.

There you go, 10 red hot tips to help you list a successful Warrior Special Offer. Follow these 10 tips and WSO success is almost guaranteed.

Shopping Website Essentials

Setting up your first online shopping site may seem like a gargantuan task. It actually is. The world of ecommerce is tough and competitive. To survive, you will need to offer a good product, excellent customer service and an overall great online buying experience.

Any work that you do to help your site improve in its ability to attract the right kind of visitors and to convert them into solid buyers will be rewarded greatly. There is definitely demand for good online shopping sites on the web. Internet shopping has become a pretty popular activity over the last few years, growing in worth to billions of dollars.

If you’re starting your first shopping website, it is important that you prepare well for it. Start with the goal in mind. Have a business plan that outlines everything from your growth strategy to your marketing tactics. Do a simple checklist of vendors and suppliers you plan to work with and have the proper evaluation procedures in place.

For instance, you will need a provider for your shopping websites templates, for your web hosting, domain provider, and more importantly for your product inventory. There are hundreds of developers and suppliers for online shopping sites on the web, so choose wisely.

You also need to decide on which niche you will be focusing on. Choosing products that you are already familiar with is a big advantage. One, you already have the product knowledge you will need to support any queries you may get. Two, you can easily write your own, fresh, unique content that will work well for your search engine optimization efforts. You niche choice should be well coordinated with your choice of inventory suppliers.

Next, you will need to have the proper backend systems in place. If you are only working with a company that provides for the design aspect of shopping websites, then you will have to work with another one that could help you with inventory management. Do know that there are options for suppliers who already have a single product for both functionalities – the virtual storefront as well as the inventory management system that goes with it.

More than that, you will also need to work with a merchant account provider, a payment gateway and a shopping cart system. All these will enable you to provide   credit   card  processing within your online shopping sites. When you are in the process of selecting the right provider for these services, make sure that your systems are able to work with each other.

Then, there’s the website security and trust aspect that you also have to stay on top of. As you are processing payments online, it is essential that you have Secure Sockets Layer or SSL certifications that encrypt the transactions you send online. This, in itself, is a very important consideration for buyers. But to boost their confidence in your shopping website, you should also consider displaying trust seals such as VeriSign, Better Business Bureau or TRUSTe. You should also be clear about your privacy policy in your website.

All these are key ingredients to have a website that will be appreciated by your target audience and can help you succeed with online sales.

3 Things Women Crave That You Don’t Know About – Learn These & Have Them Chase You Like Crazy

So what makes women tick? What do they actually want from a man? How can one get their attention and retain it? Well most guys out there don’t know what women want and this is the major reason why they aren’t able to give women what they want. You see if you can become the man who knows what women want and give them exactly what they want than there is no reason why women wouldn’t like you and prefer you over other men as you are giving them what they actually want. Read on to discover 3 major things women crave that you are not aware of yet…

They need attention- Yup! Women love attention and want to get noticed. They love to see a man checking them out, it kind of makes them feel important and wanted. You see women are very emotional therefore they need their emotions satisfied.

They need to be told that they look good- Another thing women crave from men is they want men to tell them that they look good. You see there are several men out there in our society who don’t know the perfect art of complimenting a woman therefore end up getting no where in the dating game. Women like honest pure compliments instead of made up bluff just to impress them.

Women want men to be strong- They simply don’t like to be put in the leader spot and want their man to be strong enough to lead. As a man it’s your responsibility to dominate and lead otherwise she would go find a man who is good enough to lead.

Helpful Tips When Attending an Autograph Signing

* Bring items to get signed

* Bring your own pens – always bring the type of pen you want signed, usually a black/blue sharpie or black/blue ballpoint pen. All of the sports gatherings events will have pens readily available for the players to sign; however, there are times when the ink will run out. If you let the players borrow your pen, you never know what good will come out of it. (Thank You to Laura for this tip)

* Bring water and snacks (note that at many of the fanfests and conventions, they do not allow either to be brought inside), but if you are going to a caravan, at least bring water and some munchies

* Bring an ipod/mp3 player – at these events, you’ll want to keep yourself busy. Yes, you can talk, but you can only talk for so long. Sometimes you just want to listen to some music.

* Bring a family member and/or friends – most of the time, the autographs are one per person, but if you bring a buddy or family member, you can split up. It might not help so much with friends, but it will certainly help if the memorabilia stays in the family.

* Bring a backpack to store your baseball memorabilia such as trading cards you want signed, baseballs, mini helmets, hockey pucks, etc.

* Bring money – at many of these fanfests, conventions, and caravans, they have tables set up with dealers that sell trading cards, signed and unsigned memorabilia, among other things

* Get there early – some of the fanfests and conventions have strict policies on when you can start lining up, some do not and actually require you to stay in line to get autograph tickets. The caravans are a completely different beast in that most caravans offer free autographs for players that are not only up and coming prospects, but superstar players. For caravans, it is highly recommended you get there at least 2 hours prior and start waiting in line.

* Wear comfortable…everything. You will be waiting in line either way.

* Bring a seat or a bucket – if you don’t mind what others think of you.

* Bring a camera – if you bring a camera, you will take at least one picture guaranteed.

* Scout local bars and lobbies before and after the event because the fanfest or convention usually takes place in a hotel.