Business Growth Secret Revealed – Using a Marketing Calendar

Using a marketing calendar
Many business owners may not necessarily be doing their marketing planning this way or may choose to be doing this in a similar way. Either way, using a marketing calendar can be hugely successful strategy to grow your business through effective marketing.

What is a marketing calendar?
A marketing calendar is a way to organize your marketing activity to specific dates or deadlines relevant to the target markets of your business;

For example a florist could target mother’s day marketing and promotion. It may be a more general month target of for instance targeting Christmas shoppers in November. It can also be used to schedule information or promotion to clients who have been engaged to services for a specific period, such as an insurance company may wish to do certain marketing activities prior to renewal dates for instance.

A marketing calendar can be a way of aiming at different key target markets throughout the year and aligning all the marketing efforts for greater impact in gaining your target markets.

You may also notice trends at certain times of the year, which you may choose to attempt to exploit more fully in your marketing calendar planning. For instance a financial planner may see a spike in new year resolutions leading to more interest in wealth creation early in the new year.

How to do a marketing calendar?
Your marketing calendar is a working document you can revise and update throughout the plan year. A marketing calendar should be simple. I recommend a simple spreadsheet matrix with months or dates with your key target market type described along with the key marketing efforts directed at that target market.

Go back and review your target markets.
A good business should know exactly who or what kind of client or customers it would like. Remind yourself the types of target markets that you may be winning more, make more money from, have more competitive strengths in, more specialized in or even just downright enjoy more. The key is don’t be too broad or have too many. The more specific your target market is, the easier your marketing becomes and chance of marketing success.

Review all of your marketing activity
If you haven’t already done so, go on and write down all your marketing efforts in detail and check on just how effective each marketing tool is for you. To state the obvious you should then consider putting more focus on the ones that work and eliminating the ones that don’t work. You could also try to match certain ones to the different target markets.

Some examples of your marketing efforts maybe be:
• Signage

• Social media

• Websites

• Referral partners

• Business networking

• Paid online marketing

• Asking for referrals

• Web blogging or SEO

• newsletters

What if this doesn’t apply to your type of business?
Perhaps your business is not at all dependent on the date or time of the year. If so, consider just having after care schedules to perhaps ask for referrals or cross sell you at a certain point after a sale.

Where do I find the time to do this?

Well often business owners do not get out of the business long enough to develop some systems to improve their businesses. If this is the case they are unlikely to get different results.

So they need to look at ways to free up their time to devote in this area. This can be achieved by delegating or training staff to be more capable and giving the business owner more time to develop their business.

Otherwise they may simply outsource their marketing and grow their business that way.

Some other examples
• One business owner says he arranges a highly discounted sale of stock or wrongly sized materials. As well as clearing out stock, staying tidy, it brought in new people into his showroom and lead to sale of his real product too.

• Use a regular say monthly newsletter of useful information or stock listing to your customer list. It will be a great way to keep you in mind of the customers. You may also be inviting them to buy or use your services at the perfect time they may be considering that very purchase at that time.

• Curiously at times of elections spending can slump in economies. So you could factor this into your marketing calendar too.

Here are some reasons why a marketing calendar will help your business grow
1. having a plan gets you to a destination. You will be efficient in knowing what to do at certain times of the year and can repeat these year in year out.

2. Focusing on less gets you a better result. Improving your efficiency from your marketing tools will get you better results.

3. More clients and customers come with more marketing activity. Thinking in this way and implementing a system to gain new clients will be effective in improving your sales.

4. Improve your branding and reputation. Honestly, being consistent and having good marketing activity will make you appear to be an even more successful business therefore attracting more clients and customers.

5. Become more productive. By working on your business you will learn how to outsource and delegate. This will also get your more profit or results with your time.

6. Making more success in your business always improves your personal life balance. So having more profits may in turn means more holidays or more staff to help you better enjoy your non working life.

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The Dragon Has Entered: English to Chinese Translation

The People’s Republic of China is viewed through different lenses even today. Exotic. Mysterious. Aggressive. Fascinating. These are just some of the monikers that are pasted onto this 9.597 million square kilometres that make up the Land of the Dragon.

What is China today? How did “Made in China” become the most sighted marking on manufactured goods? Why has speaking and writing Chinese gained such significance? If the Chinese don’t master English, isn’t the obvious solution for English users to master Chinese and translate, translate, translate??!

What is China today?
China is a land surrounded by the Gobi desert in the North, thick, impenetrable forests in the South, the Himalayas on the West and the Pacific Ocean in the East. This is why early civilisation had limited interactions with this country. The politics of this country also added to its economic and cultural isolation. It was only in the 1970s that the winds of radical economic reforms swept through China’s vast landscape and ushered in a global trade economy. The Communist government in China has opened up not just the market but the free flow of trade and technology across its borders.

Today:
China is the second largest economy in the world next to the USA
a global hub of manufacturing
the largest exporter and the second largest importer of goods and
the largest trading nation.

Add to these facts that China happens to weigh in with a population of 1,382,323,332 and growing every millisecond (yes, count it live by clicking on the link and you will see how fast the number changes!), and you will know the mind-boggling economy and market that is being considered.

Tongue tied in English
The emphasis on English education in China took off only in 1979 when the dragon established strong diplomatic ties with the American eagle. With estimates of English “speakers” as low as 10 million and English “learners” at 300 million, China has still a long way to go in free and easy communication considering that a sizeable chunk of the West uses English. So, is this mammoth, well connected market to remain incommunicado? Hardly!

“If the mountaine will not come to Mahomet, Mahomet will goe to the mountaine”

So said Sir Francis Bacon in his Essays, 1625.

Translation: If the Chinese don’t learn English, then English users will have to learn Chinese.

The official language of China and Taiwan is Mandarin or Standard Chinese. It is also one of the four official languages of Singapore.

Cantonese (a variety of Yue Chinese) is the official language of Hong Kong and Macau, the two mostly self governing special administrative regions of China.

The script uses characters called hanzi: there are more than 100,000 individual characters. Roughly speaking, each character represents a syllable and can be used individually or in combinations to form words. A recent development has divided this script to simplified Chinese which uses reduced and simpler characters; this is used mostly in Mainland China. The traditional version still continues in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau.

Pinyin, the official transliteration system using the Latin alphabet, has also been developed to ease pronunciation.

In addition, it should be noted that Mandarin Chinese is spoken by the well heeled Chinese communities of Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei, the Philippines and Mongolia where the Dragon makes its presence pretty prominent and breathes a scorching breath.

Language translates to business
With China encouraging the free flow of business and becoming the golden land of opportunity, communicating in Chinese takes on varied shapes and colours if this high potential market has to be tapped deeper and deeper.
Professional Chinese translation has to be specific to the targeted area and the purpose which demands this service. For example, if the target market is Mainland China and /or Singapore, the type of written Chinese would be Simplified Chinese. Yet, Traditional Chinese would be the lingua franca for businesses operating within the Hi-tech industry and simplified Chinese preferred for companies in manufacturing sectors.

Translators from English to Chinese need to know much more than just the languages: a good translation company will offer translators who are cognizant with the kind of profession that the translation is required for.

Minding businesses
There are many needs for professional translation that arise in the course of business.

Language and tone of translation has to suit each need. There is no such thing as a broad brush that you can paint Chinese with! Documents dealing with, patents, resumes, medical cases, educational certificates, brochures, insurance, visas… the list is endless when a country opens its doors to the rest of the world.

Add to this the nuances of the Chinese script where a stroke or a syllable can change the entire context or meaning. Work in the dominance of English as the language of business and trade. Take in the fact of the Chinese ethos being a little known and tentatively understood denominator and the care to be taken to keep niceties of language uppermost. The formula for success dictates that English be skilfully translated into Chinese minding text, script, language, tone and suitability.

This is why expert translation is needed. No automated or translation software can actually fit the bill in a language like Chinese. It’s good enough to order a plate of schezwan noodles and kung pao chicken, but not when your needs are professional and your aim is the sky.

China still burns exotic in many minds. But as the People’s Republic increasingly demolishes the “Great Wall” that had once surrounded its isolationist mindset, the layers of mystery are being peeled away. China is a prosperous and booming economy today. Make your presence felt in the Big Bang.
Translate your business strategies to success. Literally.

I am an Expert in the medium of translation and language services. I have working knowledge in documents translation, Translate from English to German,Translate from English to chinese, and provide Multilingual E-mail Support.I am passionate in Localizing global brands to reach the target audience in the most efficient way.

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Prayer for the World in Worrying Times

Without much doubt we’re living in tremulous times. The tectonic shifts of seismic proportions in the previous year should cause us all concern.

OUR ETERNAL FATHER, Who justifies humanity so much as to live, and gives us breath and purpose, I bow before You, and give You what You’ve designed for me to give – recognition of Your Sovereignty over all of life, from eternity past stretched out eternally. You and You alone are worthy of my worship. Forgive me those times when I make idols of other things. I thank You that Your grace is sufficient for me.

LORD, we’re concerned, really disturbed. Firstly, God, it’s the leadership of the United States of America that threatens to destabilise our world most. No matter what people say about the outgoing President, the incoming President seems neither a man of compassion nor wisdom. How will he unify a nation? Why does he affront the world? Secondly, the state of the world’s economy is at a tenuous point, and another breakdown of the financial system can never be counted out, as greed abounds to insatiability. Thirdly, more than ever national governments are thinking selfishly, not inclusively, when the world needs more geopolitical cooperation, not less. The culture of the world’s peoples underpins and drives this, and there seems more a divide – a vicious and vociferous divide, accentuated through this social media age – between the right and the left than ever before. Fourthly, the environment and global warming are possibly beyond repair, even if there was sufficient world leadership to respond. What planet are we leaving to our grandchildren, Father? Is it to another planet You’re calling us? Would we even look after it? Fifthly, and lastly, LORD, what are we to make of terrorism; the insidious scourge, a war from within? How will this menace possibly be defeated?

LORD, grace us with this knowledge: that, no matter what, You and only You are in control, even when it looks like everything is out of control. Grace us with peace when we’re riddled with anxiety, joy when we’re saddened, and hope when despair threatens to swallow us whole.

We know, Father, that You have Your purposes in the way life works out. Assure us now and always, by Your Presence in our person, that You have Your purposes in the way the world is going. Give us vision to see positive things in this world, and passion and energy to join innovative responses within loving communities.

Father, give us hope as the new President is inaugurated, prudence with our resources and diligence for our work, courage to be the people of God who have a voice, faith that You have Earth in the palm of Your hand, and trust as we venture through the world, with Your Spirit’s wisdom guiding us.

We live for You, Father,

In Your Son’s precious and holy name, I pray, in and through the Holy Spirit.

AMEN.

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Money and Wealth Can Be Satisfying, But Only One Way

“He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance with its income. This too is vanity.” Ecclesiastes 5:10

Money and wealth are a necessary part of human existence; they are the exchange agent in all economies. In ancient times, it was livestock or land. Today, it can be cash or stocks or real estate investments. Essentially, money and wealth are identified not so much by what they are, but by what they represent.

Many people simply think of money as the green notes they hand you at the bank when you make a deposit. But it is so much more. Money and wealth can represent many things, and when you reduce money to its most basic form, it is value.

Understood this way, we realize money is not numbers on a bank statement, or a roll of bills tucked in a drawer, or a piece of paper with the words “Grant Deed”. Money and wealth are all the values those things represent.

The value of money empowers one central, primary condition: security. With money we feel secure, protected from hunger, cold and heat, and lack of control. Every other benefit of money seems to flow from that one state of security. And security should bring satisfaction. Should…

It’s no secret that the world is reeling from its dissatisfaction. Billions and billions of every currency is made, exchanged, and made again daily. Countless millions have far more than they need. Far more. And often the richest people are the ones with the greatest sense of unhappiness.

Why does it seem no one is content?

One of the chilling vanities we find in this life is this: nothing on which we set our hopes to achieve happiness or contentment will bring that condition we hope for. If we love security, we will feel insecure. If we love power, we will feel powerless. If we love influence, we will feel insignificant.

The obsession to gain money and wealth is a perfect illustration of this truth. The important issue here is the word LOVE. It is what we love that affects our satisfaction! Yes, money can bring happiness. Yes, influence can bring satisfaction. Yes, achievement can bring contentment. But how? How not?

Not when we LOVE THOSE THINGS. You see, setting our deepest affection upon anything, any condition, any situation, will ultimately let us down. And this is clearly why Solomon implored us not to foolishly seek those things above all else. Instead, he told us to love God above all else, and then everything fulfills as it was designed to fulfill.

The issue has never been money and wealth or any other thing we can gain. The issue has always been this:

Whatever we love more than God will ultimately bring dissatisfaction.

It’s really not that complicated. I mean, think about it. How to be miserable? Easy. Love things – money, power, influence, pride, achievement, etc… more than God.

How to be happy? Love God more than anything. And how to do that? Put His laws and desires above our own natural desires. The absolute, sure-fire result is peace, security, happiness, fulfillment, and contentment.

And one more question… what does loving God more than anything really look like? Well, that is another post for another day, but for now, we can start by reading His Word. For in the Bible, He tells us exactly what He desires for our life, and

It is Tremendously Satisfying!

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5 Benefits of a Community Built by an Experienced Real Estate Developer

Finding the right location, the right amenities, and the right house can be a time-consuming process. Old neighborhoods often feature beautiful homes that need extensive renovations and improvements, while some new neighborhoods may lack any sense of community. Rather than moving into a home in an established neighborhood, many people are discovering the benefits of moving into a community constructed by an experienced real estate developer. Here are a few of those benefits.

Reducing Carbon Footprints

New homes are constructed with the latest high-quality building materials. Instead of using outdated technology, a real estate developer builds with eco-friendly products and equipment, reducing the carbon footprint of the entire community. These environmentally-friendly materials help make each structure more efficient than older homes in the area. From higher amounts of insulation to more efficient appliances, new houses feature the best energy-saving materials to help homeowners reduce their energy costs and minimize the impact each structure has on the environment.

Makes the Most of Unwanted Land

Almost every city in the country has parts of the community that are blighted, underused, or hotbeds of unwanted activity. Instead of allowing areas to continue to be misused, new developments transform the spaces into useful, clean, and safe environments that boost the local economy.

New Developments Revitalize the Area

A real estate developer does not always focus on brand new structures. Some historical initiatives may even prevent the demolition of old buildings, making new construction less desirable. In cases like these, old buildings will be gutted or renovated without destroying the aesthetic of the area. Developers aren’t always out to create a new vision for a community, especially when residents in the area are happy with the existing appearances.

Built to Last

Developers are not in the industry to build houses that simply fall apart after a few years. Instead of using materials that require constant maintenance and upkeep, many communities feature construction using the smartest, lowest maintenance technology. This allows residents to focus on enjoying their new abodes, building their families, and taking advantage of everything the area has to offer.

Fosters an Instant Sense of Community

Many traditional neighborhoods lack community amenities like pools, parks, and community buildings. This can make it difficult for new residents to establish ties with the neighborhood. New property developments make it easy for residents to become a part of the community. Whether it’s using a shared common area or attending a neighborhood block party, most developments feature events designed to bring residents closer together.

Homes in community developments can be the perfect fit for new homeowners looking for a place to thrive. Rather than moving into an existing neighborhood, consider purchasing a house in a new property development.

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Third World Employment Is Here

I knew the drill. I’d lived it for years.

Don’t stop at intersections, including red lights and stop signs, if you don’t have to. Just keep going. Stopping makes you vulnerable to “smash and grab” and hijacking.

Keep anything of value hidden away when you’re on the street. Keep your cellphone on vibrate so it doesn’t attract attention.

Try to keep a wall or fence close behind or beside you so you can’t be surprised from behind. Scan your environment in 180-degree arcs in five-yard increments ahead of you.

Dress like a local. Don’t make eye contact unless you must, and if you do, just nod without smiling. Above all, look like you belong there… or at least like you’ve been there before.

Sounds like a scene from one of those “JB” spy stories… Jason Bourne, Jack Bauer, James Bond. But it’s just everyday life in many parts of my second home, South Africa, where I’ve been for the past month.

This is the way we may be living soon here in the U.S… for essentially the same reasons.

Coming to a Country Near You: Instability

People with no stake in a socioeconomic system eventually prey on that system. It’s all they have. If the world considers you superfluous and you have no future in it, why not? Especially if the bigwigs in government and business do the same thing.

Over 45% of South African adults have no formal job or do temporary piecework when they can. Millions of people depend on this slender thread for their daily survival. To keep the pot from boiling over, the government has been forced to expand an expensive system of welfare payments. The costs of not doing so – in terms of crime, policing and fleeing investors – would be even higher.

Is this life coming to the U.S.? The signs sure point to it.

A new study by economists from Harvard and Princeton says that 94% of the 10 million jobs created after the great crash of 2008 were temporary contract positions or part-time “gig” jobs. They come without health care, retirement benefits, vacation time, sick leave or employer-paid Social Security and Medicare taxes.

Fewer than 1 in 5 of these jobs ever become permanent. Consequently, as the research by economists Lawrence Katz of Harvard and Alan Krueger at Princeton shows, the proportion of U.S. workers who were working in these kinds of temporary jobs increased from 10.7% of the population to 15.8% from mid-2010.

At the same time, the workforce participation rate has declined, meaning fewer people are working – with more depending on those who are, even temporarily, to survive.

Finally, the long-term unemployment rate, which includes people who are working irregularly or who have given up looking at all, has tripled since 1990.

Crucially, this trend is just as apparent in manufacturing, the very sector President-elect Trump touts as the salvation of the American worker. Over one-third of U.S. temps work on production lines, in warehouses and repairing machinery. Another 20% work in manufacturing management.

No Easy Answers

Capitalism tends to shoot itself in the foot on a regular basis… as it is doing today by simultaneously destabilizing the majority and massively enriching a tiny minority.

The great political economists of the 18th and 19th centuries, such as Adam Smith, were keenly aware of capitalism’s contradictory nature. Above all, they realized things that are good for profit-seeking individuals in the short term – like staffing your company with expendable temps – aren’t always good for society in the longer term… including those same profit-seeking individuals.

When almost all jobs created over an eight-year period lack the basic features required for a stable life, workers are effectively a disposable commodity, not citizens of a country. People who know they are considered expendable tend to behave very differently from those who are secure and stable, since they have a different stake in the game… i.e., none.

As the proportion of “expendables” grows, they begin to prey on the rest. That’s what I’ve seen in South Africa and many other countries. Those are the sorts of societies where you live behind razorwire-topped walls, don’t go out at night and feel nervous and watchful always. In a word: a Third World society.

Are you ready for that? You’d better be… unless something changes, and soon.

Ted Baumann joined The Sovereign Investor Daily in 2013. As an expat who lived in South Africa for 25 years, Ted specializes in asset protection and international migration. Read more of what he has to say about offshore living here.

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Wealth Without a College Degree

The crave for paper qualification is causing more harm than good. Since our society has erroneously equated literacy to mere paper qualification or fluency in English language. Everyone regardless of their age, passion, purpose and ability wants to bag a degree from any educational institution. The society now respects paper qualification more than skill and competence. Only university graduates are regarded as literates. Consequently, university graduates pose as kings and queens because they have a paper qualification. They parade themselves as lords of the labour market because they attended the ivory tower. And the uninformed technician feels inferior because he has no degree. They become so intimidated that they abandon their profitable trade for mere paper qualification that will make them join the unemployment queue.

We have also been brainwashed that the best path to achieve success or wealth is to attend a university, get a degree or diploma and get a job. Since a degree and not competence has become the yardstick for offer of employment in these parochial societies, everybody wants to have a certificate. Thus, most people go to college in order to acquire a degree which will be the basis for getting a good job and having a good pay check. Technical and vocational and entrepreneurial education has been relegated and trampled on. The society view vocational skilled laborers as the less privileged that were unable to pay university tuition fees.

Parents are compounding the problem by forcing their wards to embark on professional career in higher institutions even when these kids are uninterested. Most parents want their children to have a good education and a secure future. They think that a good school will help their kids avoid financial challenges. They want their child to make it to the top of the food chain. Most parents dread the thought of their children toiling at menial jobs, being underemployed, earning low wages, paying higher and higher taxes, and battling inflation all their lives. The hope is that their kids will become doctors, lawyers, or CEO’s. No parent wants his child to become a cook, mechanic, shoe maker, tailor, tiller, farmer, hair stylist, etc. We all want our kids to become university graduates even when we have observed that child will succeed more as a technical or vocational trainee or as an entrepreneur. Examination malpractice has skyrocketed because most students in conventional school are not meant to attend such schools.

The problem is that none of those professions help them to be truly financially free. Truthfully, university and other higher institution graduates contribute the highest chunk to the pool of the unemployed. School does not make you successful because it does not teach you financial education. Talent and skill development, Technical and vocational education and entrepreneurship are the main drivers of any economy. A child that has learnt to read and right can achieve anything in life. Such child has the ability to learn anything on his own. Thus, the foundation of education is the primary and secondary school. It is therefore important that every child have access to at least basic education. Not everyone is destined to be a degree holder. If you join the crave for paper qualification whereas you are not destined to attend higher institution you will be doomed for life. Don’t desire to be a university graduate out of frustration from societal pressure. Follow your passion and your heart, never follow the crowd.

A degree can either be a stepping stone or a road block on the path to achievement. Today we have university graduate without proficiency. Their certificate has blocked their access to success. Instead of vigorously pursuing their passion which is their surest path to success, they are busy queuing in the unending line of unemployed job seekers. If education proves to be an obstacle, those with an entrepreneurial spirit will push it aside and go their own chosen route. Education is not acquiring certificate; neither is it by your fluent grammar. It is your ability to create something new and solve societal problems that makes you educated.

Education is the acquisition of skills and knowledge through learning and personal experience and the ability to apply such knowledge to solve societal problems for the betterment of the society. Thus, if you cannot solve or satisfy the needs of the populace you are not educated. Education is not by certificate; it is having proofs. Your proof is not your certificate; neither is it by your fluent grammar. It is your ability to create something new and solve societal problems that makes you educated. Change your life and your society if you are educated. Stop showcasing your good certificate, show us a proof. If your tailor can make you give a cloth design that make you look good, he has solved a problem, hence he is highly educated. When that so- called “illiterate” go under your car and fix it without consulting any book, you smile and pay him. He had just solved a problem and therefore he is informed. The same applies to that interior decorator, house painters, shoemakers, refuse managers, electricians and other technical, vocational and entrepreneur laborers.

Today, in the information age, there are many ways to learn and develop the skills you need to become a successful entrepreneur. Homeschooling, technical, vocational and entrepreneur education may be some worthwhile options for many, especially if you have the desire to learn at your own pace, or if you have kids that are ambitious and independent thinkers. In fact, many of the most successful people in history were successful without finishing school.

College qualification cannot guarantee wealth or fulfillment. Wealth is attracted by solving societal problems and meeting societal needs. If you are a graduate and cannot contribute positively to your society, you are a nonentity.

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The Resilience of The Culture and Paramountcy of The Powers of The Asante Kingdom

The Asante kingdom is one of the vibrant ethnic societies in Ghana and on the African continent. The powers that its traditional council exerts are supreme and highly respected. The current events in Ghana illustrate the supremacy of the powers of the Asante king (Asantehene). Due to the sad passing of the queen mother of the Asante kingdom (Asantehemaa), the traditional council of the Asante kingdom has imposed a curfew, observation of silence and a ban on the organization of funeral rites, endorsed by the ruling government at the jurisdiction of the kingdom. This mandates all residents whether local or foreign to stay indoors after seven o’clock in the evening. Many people have expressed their displeasure toward this restriction as an infringement on the rights of residents in those parts of the Ashanti region of Ghana. However, such is the power of the superior authority and culture of the vibrant Asante kingdom.

Culturally, when a royal from the governing class in the Asante kingdom passes away, subjects are not supposed to organize any funeral ceremony until the deceased royal is buried and the final mortuary rites are performed. This is branded as an act of sacrilege and respect for the dead member of the royal family that governs the Asante people. Granted, in dire circumstances that demand the immediate burial of a deceased member of one’s family, the burial must take place with the observance of total silence. That implies that the bereaved family is banned from wailing or crying for their great loss. Families that cannot succumb to this order have to wait for the burial ceremony of the royal from the governing class to be organized before organizing the funeral rites of their deceased.

Aside from the observance of silence during the burial of a deceased member, all and sundry living on the soils of the Asante kingdom, including business enterprises, restaurants, pubs and others are not to make any kind of noise such as from the tunes of music, drumming, jubilation or whatsoever. This is done to perpetually ingrain in the minds of society members their great loss. It is meant to cause members of the ethnic society to respect the laws, orders, and laws that issue from the Asante kingdom.

Moreover, the first Saturday to the day slated for the burial ceremony is the organization of a compulsory participation of all residents in the jurisdiction of the Asante kingdom to engage in massive environmental sanitation and cleaning exercises. All choked gutters and refuse are to be properly disposed of. It is believed among the Asantes that the ancestors would be visiting the people at the burial ceremony. Therefore, the surroundings of residents must be tidied to indicate that they have respect for the ancestors who constantly supervise their daily activities and makes them successful. However, a sorry state of the environment, marked by filth would incur their wrath, displeasure and the bestowing of bad luck on society members and the entire Asante kingdom. Thus, the traditional council of the Asante kingdom police and inspect every nook and cranny thoroughly to make sure that their total landmass is free of dirt and any form of filth.

The deep respect and awe for the traditional council that rules the Asante kingdom propel members to heed the call. Failure to heed these restrictions is believed to attract the displeasure of the gods and ancestors. They can inflict eternal death punishment and sickness spree on every member of the kingdom that fails to honor the restrictions given by the Asante traditional kingdom. It is even said that the punishment meted out can extend to innocent members of the same family lineage of the offender. In addition, the traditional court sometimes picks up the culprit and s/he may not be seen again or probably executed by the executioners (Abrafo) at the palace. Sometimes, special monetary penalties and sacrifices of pacification are mandated for such culprits to pay to serve as powerful lessons to other members of the kingdom not to breach the orders of the traditional council.

This shows the supreme power and influence of the governing authority of the Asante traditional court even in the face of globalization and modernization. It also shows the great impact and resilience of the Asante cultural traditions, practices and customs. Thus, the traditional council of the Asantes can be used as a sanctioning and empowering agency to enforce strict laws and acts related to key areas of development like environmental degradation. At the age of modernity in Ghana, where rules are easily broken by residents, the high deteriorating state of the economy of the country can be remedied by resorting to the powers and influence of the traditional governing institutions. Probably, a perfect way forward is to tap the great powers of the traditional councils of the various ethnic societies to enforce developmental agendas in their various jurisdictions.

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Is 2017 Brick And Mortar Retail’s Last Stand?

Why is it that brick and mortar retailers are unable to remain profitable? Well, there are many reasons, one has to do with increased costs of employees due to ObamaCare, but that is just another fire hose in the bucket – increased regulations too has taken its toll and the biggie, of course, is the growth with Online Retailers. How did things get so bad? Well, in their race for profits, these name-brand big retailers started selling us inferior Chinese Made products, dressing them up nicely with well-done marketing.

As I started to write this article, I was interrupted by life-events several times; Christmas, Family, New Years, California Storms, Yard Work, Etc. and each time I put it off to another day, there was yet another unfortunate story in the news; Bloomberg Business News, CNBC, Wall Street Journal, or the NYTs, LA Times or Washington Post Business Section, of yet another downsizing, right-sizing, or bankruptcy in the retail sector – stores closing, vendors hosed, employee layoffs – it’s not looking too good, unless you are an online retailer. Let’s talk shall we?

Why did that strategy fail? It didn’t at first, but if these retailers are going to sell us cheap imported goods then people are going to shop for price, and once consumers start doing that, Sears, Macy’s and other big box retailers can’t compete due to their higher cost structure, and Jeff Bezos of Amazon, well, he takes no prisoners; “no mercy expected, none given,” motif.

There were a couple of interesting articles, one in Total Retail on or about the first week of 2017. The first was titled; “Sears to Close 150 More Stores, Sells Craftsman Brand,” and the second one was in the Wall Street Journal “Macy’s and Kohl’s Are Hit by Weak Holiday Sales – Macy’s to cut more than 10,000 jobs, close stores; Kohl’s lowers profit targets.”

On January 6, 2017 the Washington Post had an article titled; “The Limited is closing all of its 250 stores” written by Sarah Halzack. There is an interesting video on YouTube titled; “MUST WATCH! 10-reasons why world economy collapse in 2017 – NEW,” which stated that Sam’s Club was also closing many less-than-optimal stores, again 10,000 job cuts there.

Suffice it to say, retail isn’t working, those old business models are not going to be viable in the future, they just cannot compete with the efficiency of online retailing, no way, no how, so now what? Well, they say the only constant is change, but how much near-term change can our economy take? Sure, those are not great jobs, and most are now only part-time, but those job losses are real and really affect real lives. Please consider all this, and don’t hesitate – be great.

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Top 7 Tips on How to Hire a Builder

Are you looking for a builder for your new house? If so, you can use the following 7 tips to choose and work with the right contractor. Read on.

Get Recommendations

You can discuss your needs with your friends and family. Besides, you can contact the National Association of the Remodeling Industry to get a list of good contractors in your area. It’s also a good idea to consult a good building inspector.

Conduct Interviews

Once you have got the list, you can make calls to each of the contractors and ask them relevant questions. You can ask them about the projects they took, the financial references, the subcontractors they work with and so on.

Meet in person

Based on the interviews you conducted over phone, you can choose a few contractors. You can then meet them for further discussions about the project. Good contractors will answer your questions until you are satisfied. Generally, it’s not a good idea to hire a professional with a track record of a lot of disputes. You can contact your local BBB to make sure the one you have selected is reliable.

Meet the former clients

You can contact the former clients of the contractor to know how their building project went. It will be great if they get ready to show you the finished building. However, you shouldn’t depend on the results alone. What you should do is visit the current site and check how the contractor is working on the project. Is he using safe methods? Are the workers careful enough? This will give you a pretty good idea about the reliability of the contractor you are going to hire.

Ask for Bids

Once you have shortlisted a few good candidates, you should look forward to the project. Qualified contractors need blueprints as well as a clear idea of what the homeowner wants from the project. In addition, they need to know how much the homeowner is willing to spend. You can ask for bids to make sure you hire the best yet the least expensive contractor.

Deciding Factors

Your goal is not to hire the lowest bidder. The lowest bidder may cut corners or he may be desperate for work. In a strong economy, this is not a good sign. The most important thing that you should keep in mind when hiring a contractor is to make sure he will stay in touch with you throughout the project. It’s better to spend a bit more and hire someone who will be easy to work with.

Put it in Writing

You should draw a contract that will show the details of the project. Make sure everything is in writing. Making verbal promises is not a sign of professionalism. Therefore, you should write down everything before signing the contract with the contractor.

So, these are a few tips that can help you hire the best builder for your project. By hiring the right builder, you can get the project done in a timely fashion while saving a good deal of money.

 

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