Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Online Presence for Small Businesses

I am starting to support small businesses more and more and I do not just mean the usual cottage industries. I have Mom friends who have turned their advocacy into income-generating endeavors. They sell nursing wear, cloth diapers, earth-friendly soaps, wooden toys, etc.

I also have friends who turned their fashion obsession (and the fact that they now have daughters) into money-making endeavors. They sell and resell clothes, clips, shoes, accessories. 

Other friends channel their other talents and go into party planning, or selling crafted toys or decor. Even crocheted stuff is now becoming a more lucrative business idea (one I have not responded to accordingly!). 

One way all of them have increased their online presence is through thoughtfully designed blogs and websites which their friends and family can direct their network of friends to. Just share links to sites on FB, supplemented by Instagram and Pinterest postings and maybe one or two blog giveaways and your market has just expanded.

Those looking for webhosting for these might want to check out www.webhostinggeeks.com/wordpresshosting.html for price brackets and package offerings. They may also have to pay for premium photo sharing accounts but the costs are really a small price to pay for the trade it brings. One thing I like about websites having a blog feature is that clients LOVE it when you post pictures they share with you for goods they have bought from you... and that keeps them coming back for more.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Making Math Your Friend

We are now at a day and age where most families require expert tutoring help with algebra for school and college students. The good thing about this happening now is that there are enough online resources and physical tutorial centers for such. This is especially helpful  if you're sending your kids to the usual mainstream schools where individual pacing, capacity and interests are seldom taken into account.

The bad thing, however, about that upside is that not all tutorials are created the same. Some actually go out of their way so that after a few months, your child has already been trained to help himself by knowing where to look for aid, what things to really consider and what sacrifices have to be made (like actually making the homework first). These tutorial centers help your child learn better and more efficiently and actually improves their quality of life despite the tons of homework and projects that needed to be turned in.

Most, however, become a crutch and your child is better off without them in the long run. These are the ones that are really only after profit and are exploiting weaknesses instead of empowering children to learn on their own. Parents must be vigilant about doing research and conducting interviews so that theirs will be money well spent... and their child's time and energy would not be wasted.

However, for those with very young kids, the video below may be helpful. I do not mean to promote Waldorf schools (though I am a fan) but I do wish parents would enroll their kids in schools where similar approaches are being undertaken by teachers to make difficult subjects more relevant, personal, engaging and approachable.

Make math fun from the very start. Incorporate stories, values, lessons, games in it and it will not be the source of headache and troubles it is for most of us.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Looking for Instruments

Some of us who are still reeling from the wonderfully amazing Aerosmith concert (oh Stevie, you're so fine, you blew our minds, yes Stevie!) last week must be feeling a need to rekindle music lessons and fascinations. Those looking for guitars might want to check out Sta. Cruz (Manila) or Cebu... and those looking for electric ones would do well to visit RJ stores (they offer lessons too). Ebay sellers and other online shops can also provide complete drum sets, jet tone mouthpieces as well as unique, indigenous instruments.

We surely live in happy, opportunity-allowing times.

Countries with Tough Visa Applications

Getting a permit to enter or visa to other countries can be a breeze, although in some cases it depends on your country of origin. However, there are some countries where getting a visa is complicated no matter the color of your passport. This is why most people prefer to engage the services of immigration and visa consultancy companies such as Global Visas which know the ins and outs of the visa application process of most countries. Before you give in to the lure of cheap accommodations or decide that travel to exotic places is just the right move for you at this particular juncture, find out first what you’re getting, or not getting, into.

The visa application process differs from country to country. In some, such as Angola and Russia, th process requires a multitude of documents, such as medical tests, letters of invitation, financial sureties, educational background, or employment history. Small mistakes in the application form can mean a rejection, and in the case of Angola, approval takes a long time.

Cuba is off-limits to most Americans, especially if the passport is stamped by a Cuban Embassy. Most Americans may also be denied entry into North Korea, which doesn’t even have an embassy in the US. Getting a visa for Saudi Arabia is not difficult, but chances are if you don’t know what you are doing you are applying for the wrong kind. They have very specific visas for different types of visitors, and women especially will be subject to close scrutiny.

Iran has no embassies of its own, so visa applications are handled by other countries such as Pakistan in the US and Switzerland in Tehran. To get a visa, you must have an Iranian sponsor, and if you are not careful, you could end up in prison for any number of violations. The case for Brazil is that their visa application process can change from day to day, and there is no fixed timetable and if you are smiling in your passport photo, you can kiss your chances of approval goodbye.

It is expensive to enter China; the visa costs $140 for a single entry if you apply yourself. Additional fees apply if you send a representative, but they do process quickly. However, if your medical history indicates you have suffered from a contagious or mental disease, you will probably be denied a visa.
The US and the UK are very difficult you get a visa for because they have strict security measures in place. Even if you do get a visa, you may still be turned away if they find any reason to suspect you are
not what you represent yourself to be, especially in post 9/11 US. Students are particularly given a hard time; in the UK, foreign students must have employment waiting for him or her at the end of their studies coming with a government-registered employer.

If you like to travel to other countries, getting a visa is a crucial step in the process. Most people do not have extensive experience in applying for visas, so doing it yourself is probably not going to end well for you. At the very least, you will have wasted your time and money, at the worst you could be turned away at the airport or detained. If you are considering taking the plunge, consult with professional visa assistance companies like Global Visas and avoid headaches and problems when you travel.

Global Visas has won for its clients the most difficult battles as far as visa facilitation is concerned, such as immigration to Australia. The expertise of the Global Visas team allows it to deliver the best quality service in the lodgment of spousal, fiancée, tourist and working visas. The company holds the distinct advantage of having personnel in destination countries as well as constant updating of visa regulations in these areas: the USA, Canada, UK and other parts of Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Asian territories. Visit http://www.globalvisas.com/ for more information.
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