The cost of today's average wedding has gotten so high, you might
think that the application of the word "budget" doesn't apply.
Of course you 'd be wrong.
Whether you're spending $3,000 (far below average, even in the
least expensive areas of the U.S., but I know several people
who've done it quite successfully) or you're spending $30,000.
( only a bit about the average cost of a wedding today, so average.
means plenty of people spend more), you still need a budget.
A budget isn't necessarily an attempt to spend less. It's a plan.
for where you'll spend the money you do spend, regardless of the.
I hope you're among the lucky few who can afford to spare no.
When planning the wedding of your dreams, expense. On the other.
hand, I know some fairly wealthy people, and I don't know anyone.
who didn't angst to a certain extent over the cost of their.
Most people simply can't afford or just would rather not to empty.
their savings and run up their credit for their wedding.
Weddings have this somewhat scary habit of being rapidly followed.
by even MORE expensive things to spend your hard-earned money on,.
more permanent things, like buying a house and having a baby (or.
Trickier still is the fact that many brides (the traditional.
planners of weddings) are marrying a bit later in life, when.
they're well ensconced in a career and don't have their weekdays.
free for interviewing wedding vendors and sampling cake.
Do Wedding Planners Cost or Save?
Of course professional wedding planners have to be paid, so in.
that way they obviously cost you. An argument can be.
made (and is made, both by wedding planners themselves and by.
brides who've been happy with their professional planners) that.
having a professional wedding planner can save you money in other.
areas. An experienced wedding planner is involved in several.
weddings each year. This means that they'll have ongoing.
relationships with certain wedding vendors, and it behooves those.
vendors to cut the wedding planner a break on prices, so that.
she'll continue to use their services at all of the weddings.
she's involved with.
- Aside -.
Not that it affects your budget, but it also behooves wedding.
vendors to keep wedding planners happy with the service the.
vendor provides. As an individual, you're not likely to see.
these vendors again after you finish your wedding (at least not.
for a good long while, preferably not ever). A wedding planner,.
on the other hand, will see these vendors again and again; she's.
a repeat customer for them.
Vendors will, of course, value a repeat customer more than a one.
- time customer. They will convey this value with financial breaks.
and extra-good service. If push comes to shove, they may convey.
it by giving a wedding planner something (such as service on a.
popular date or that includes a hand-to-find item) that they have.
to take away from an individual bride. I know a bride who was.
promised a wedding venue for a specific date and then a week.
later the venue canceled on her, because they had a "repeat.
customer" who wanted that date and was willing to pay extra. My.
friend was not given the opportunity to pay extra or to outbid.
the repeat customer. She just lost the date.
- Aside -.
If you find a wedding planner with a great reputation (with both.
brides and local vendors), you may get the best of everything: A.
wedding planner who can easily get you top-notch vendors and.
negotiate powerful bargains.
Even with a terrific wedding planner in your employ, you should.
still do your own research and talk to your planner with a strict.
budget in mind. If the planner can't control costs.
adequately, it's always your responsibility to offer cost-saving.
ideas of your own. If your wedding planner doesn't stick to your.
budget, then she's the one who did a poor job, but it's still you.
who are out the money. The extra cost doesn't come out of the.
Still, no wedding planner is likely to save you more than she.
charges you. Hiring a wedding planner will result in higher.
financial wedding costs for you. The area in which an excellent.
planner will certainly save you, however, is in time. You'll.
need to invest far fewer hours toward organizing and ensuring the.
details of your wedding if you hire a wedding planner than if you.
The question for you to answer is whether you have more time or.
more money to invest in your wedding. Only you can answer that.
What's The Cost.
Wedding planners can charge you in any of three ways:.
oA percentage of the total cost of your wedding.
oAn hourly charge.
oA flat fee per specific services.
It's the least common, I recommend looking for vendors.
who use the last of those options. The problem with the.
percentage charge is that it creates an incredible conflict of.
interest for the planner. In essence, the more your wedding.
costs you, the more the planner gets paid. That's the opposite.
of how it should work, in my opinion! Most planners are ethical,.
and they die and live by recommendations, so they're unlikely to.
triple your expenses just to increase their cut, but at some.
level of consciousness, it's just not encouraging them to watch.
every penny in the way that I, personally, would like. , if you're.
working with a planner who charges a percentage (15% is typical),.
talk about paying them a percentage of your budgeted wedding.
costs (rather than actual costs), plus a percentage of any amount.
they can come in under budget. Essentially offer them a bonus.
for coming in under budget. This will somewhat offset the innate.
conflict of interest in the percentage-based payment structure.
An hourly fee at least solves the problem that the percentage fee.
causes, but it causes an analogous problem with time. When a.
wedding planner (or any vendor) charges you by the hour, denver wedding planner they.
lose their incentive to move fast, and you have very little.
control over this. Since you're not doing the work, it's tough.
for you to say exactly how long it should take. If you're.
working with a wedding planner who charges by the hour, set a.
maximum number (or range) of hours you'll pay for, while making.
sure that the planner agrees that the maximum you set is an.
adequate amount of time to plan your entire wedding.
Planners who charge a flat fee for each specific service they.
provide give you great flexibility. You don't have to hire them.
to plan every part of your wedding. If you want them to handle.
the venue and catering, while you hire your cousin's band and.
have your mom make your dress, you have lots of flexibility in.
paying for just the services you need, but no others. Also, by.
charging a flat fee per service, the planner maintains all normal.
( and desirable) goals to get the work done quickly and.
inexpensively. They don't get paid more for failing at one of.
those goals, as they do with the other payment methods.
Planners dislike this payment structure because.
they fear that there will be something unusually difficult about.
your wedding, and they'll have to eat the cost of dealing with.
it. Particularly wedding planners who are new to the field feel.
uncomfortable trying to predict ahead of time how much time and.
effort it will take to provide the services you require. If you.
propose the use of this payment structure to a wedding planner.
who normally charges differently, make it clear that you're aware.
of this concern and find it reasonable. Discuss the fact that.
you're willing to accept add-on charges (probably by the hour) if.
an unusual situation, beyond the planner's control, occurs. As.
with all types of wedding planners, be sure to ask to speak to.
references, and talk to these brides-who-have-gone-before-you.
about exactly what the wedding planner did and didn't do for each.
service she provided.
Keep in mind that just because a particular wedding planner.
usually charges clients a certain way, doesn't mean they can't.
get paid by another method. Most wedding planners are freelance.
agents, who can define their own rules for how they get paid.
Perhaps they've always charged percentages in the past, but that.
doesn't mean they couldn't agree to get paid a flat fee for.
specific services for your wedding, if that's the only way you're.
willing to pay. Of course you must be aware that this also means.
that they can walk away and not take you as a client, if they.
really don't want to accept the payment structure you're.
Negotiate with a wedding planner just as you would with any other.
vendor. Remember that you're hiring them. They are your hired.
help. If you don't like their terms, you can find a different.
wedding planner to contract with. You're the one holding all the.
cards. Play them.
Helpful Graduation Announcements and Graduating Invitations Etiquette for All School Grads
With today's multiple and varied educational options, graduation is a year round season and happening, which means everyone needs to prepared for graduating ceremonies, graduate parties with fancy and not so elegant dinners, and most of all, that all important gift giving. While academics accomplishments and achievements are an important element of celebrating any and all educational milestone, it is helpful if people of all ages are knowledgeable about the protocol of these gigantic milestones in their educational life.
Custom Graduation Announcements are for Announcing You're Graduating
When personalizing and sending your stylish announcements for graduates, good etiquette suggests that they should be mailed after the ceremony has been held. School grads, at all graduating milestones, should send graduating announcement cards to friends and family members who they would like to know about this significant educational accomplishment, even those who you might not have had recent close contact. As you are preparing this important list, it is advisable to approach the task with the attitude that this more of an inclusive list than an exclusive list of names. And, in this day and time, it might be awfully tempting to simply blast off a mass email, but this should be totally avoided. For occasions like this, you should be respectful to your relatives and send only custom printed and embellished graduate announcements, this significant education milestone certainly deserves more than a mere email.
Personalized Graduating Invitations - What to Include and Who to Send the Invites To
Lots of people see little differences, there are, in fact, significant differences between graduating announcements and graduation invitations, regardless of whether they are for kindergarten, high school, college, nursing, and party-invitations any other level of graduating. For most graduate ceremonies, the graduates usually are offered a limited amount of tickets, so in many cases, not every friend or family member will be able to attend. It is better to offer tickets to the immediate family members, including the proud grandparents. It is up to the grad to be very clear with those who actually receive a graduation invitation that the distribution is limited, and they should attend, if at all possible. And, for those who do not receive graduate invitations, a tactful explanation should be given explaining why is a brief explanation in their announcement.
Remembering Your Etiquette for Graduation Invitations and Graduating Announcements
With all the fanfare and celebrations surrounding graduations, from pre-k, high school, advanced degrees, and all levels in between, comes school graduating etiquette guidelines that they will want to be aware of and follow, thus ensuring everything goes smoothly and avoid having hurt feelings. Proper etiquette includes a wide range including, but not limited to, who should get invitations for graduation and school graduate announcements cards, appropriate gifts, party etiquette, and the all important, thank you note cards tips for surviving all graduations with class.
The skills and lessons learned while in the classrooms will help everyone on the job, but those people skills that you use and have are the ones that will afford you a definite advantage in the work environment. After all, good etiquette, whether socially or professional, makes everyone's life more complete and happier, since it includes behavior and interaction with others, and it is people and relationships who contribute to and drive our lives.
School grads, at all graduating milestones, should send graduating announcement cards to friends and family members who they would like to know about this significant educational accomplishment, even those who you might not have had recent close contact. Lots of people see little differences, there are, in fact, significant differences between graduating announcements and graduation invitations, regardless of whether they are for kindergarten, high school, college, nursing, and any other level of graduating. For most graduate ceremonies, the graduates usually are offered a limited amount of tickets, so in many cases, not every friend or family member will be able to attend. Proper etiquette includes a wide range including, but not limited to, who should get invitations for graduation and school graduate announcements cards, appropriate gifts, party etiquette, and the all important, thank you note cards tips for surviving all graduations with class.
There are many reasons why you have to choose the best chiropractor. Whatever your reasons are, you have to remember that you have to select the right chiropractor in order to get the most out of the professional service that they provide.
What are you actually looking for when checking these listings of Chiropractor in your area? What are your expectations when choosing your chiropractor? Naturally, you would want to get involved only with a chiropractor who is technically competent and experienced.
Here are 5 important things to consider when choosing your chiropractor:
1. Consider chiropractors who can help you achieve your health goals
Your health goals should be your primordial concern when choosing your therapist. You must know what your requirements are and make sure that these match with the services of the chiropractor.
2. Consider medical practitioners that perform the appropriate examination before offering recommendations
Your doctor must first diagnose your condition before making any recommendation for two reasons. Your doctor must determine whether you really require chiropractic treatment or not. Second, your doctor may discover other medical conditions that may entail the intervention of other medical health provider.
3. Consider medical practitioners who monitor your progress
Chiropractors adopt various tracking methods from the simplest to the more complex types of methods. You have to engage the services of read more one that can closely and consistently track your progress. A good tracking process will typically involve computerized medical evaluation, general postural analysis and temperature measurement.
4. Consider chiropractic clinics that perform x-ray examinations
Contrary to common belief, not all chiropractic clinics perform x-ray examinations. X-rays can help determine if your condition would respond to chiropractic intervention.
5. Verify if there are complaints against the chiropractic clinic with the chiropractic state board
If there are any complaints lodged against a particular chiropractic care provider, you can easily verify. A quick check online can help you determine if one has had any complaints lodged against him or her.
In addition to the 5 items listed here, you can also consider other things when searching for the most qualified chiropractor operating in your area. You may check out testimonials or consider referrals of friends, relatives and colleagues. The important thing that you have to remember is that due diligence is an essential requirement in your search for the most competent and qualified chiropractor.
There are many reasons why you have to choose the best chiropractor. Whatever your reasons are, you have to remember that you have to select the right chiropractor in order to get the most out of the professional service that they provide. What are your expectations when choosing your chiropractor? You must know what your requirements are and make sure that these match with the services of the chiropractor.
In addition to the 5 items listed here, you can also consider other things when searching for the most qualified chiropractor operating in your area.
, if you have been on the internet for any length of time you have heard of SEO or Search Engine Optimization.. Hearing about it and understanding what it is and how to use it for your website are two entirely different things.
The basic definition is the ability to influence online searches so that a machine will interpret your website content favorably so that you are included in the best possible search results. You see SEO is all about working with software like Google, Yahoo and Bing.
There is an expanded definition. It is the ability to write your website content in such a way that it is appealing to the humans that are searching for it so that they are inclined to take the next intended step. Whether that is make a purchase of your product or service or fill out a form. The next step and what it is does not matter as long as your website content is compelling enough to push your visitors in that direction.
Before we learn anything about how to incorporate SEO into our website content we need to know is SEO worth it? Typically when you launch a new website you must keep in mind several different factors before you begin:
· The domain name
· Website Content
· The theme or look of the website
· The navigation of the website
· What you want to get from visitors if they find you
These are the basics to any website and each of these plays a vital role in whether or not your website will do well. I have found that most people with a new website concentrate too much on how cool the website looks or they want a really fancy flash presentation. In my opinion these are items that can be focused on later and they provide very little value to your website from a standpoint of SEO or converting visitors.
Check out these basic SEO statistics and you will see that having an optimized website is the only way to commit to a long lasting Internet presence.
· When potential visitors are searching 70% of them click on an organic search result as opposed to paid search results.
· Organic search results are focused on more highly than paid ads. This is no small amount. 70 - 80% of users ignore the read more paid ads.
When viewing search results only 25% of potential visitors scroll past the 1st page of results, ·.
· The top 2 Internet activities are email and searching
· Blogging is highly beneficial to companies. The companies that have embraced blogging have 434% more pages indexed. Any website with more indexed pages will receive more leads.
· Two types of leads - Inbound (From SEO) and Outbound (From Cold Call) the inbound leads are 61% percent lower cost than an outbound lead.
· When asked about the value of a blog to their business, 81% of businesses stated that it was an important asset.
· When driving visitors to your site, Outbrain research shows that SEO is the # 1 way to drive traffic and it is 300% more effective than social media.
· Leads that are generated from SEO have a 14.6% close rate while outbound leads only boast a 1.7% close rate.
· In a study from Slingshot SEO the following results were posted for clicks on search engine positions:
o Google # 1 Position - 18% of the clicks
o Bing # 1 Position - 9.7% of the clicks
o Google # 2 Position - 10% of the clicks
o Bing # 2 Position - 5.5% of the clicks
o Google # 3 Position - 7% of the clicks
o Bing # 3 Position - 2.7% of the clicks
It is very plain to see that organic search engine positioning is critical to the success of your website. The alternatives to optimizing your website are:
· Purchasing Paid Clicks
· Paying for Backlinks
· Purchasing outside Advertising such as Direct mail and print ads just to name a few.
The problem with the alternatives is not only the cost but the longevity of your efforts. When you set up a well optimized site your rankings will last a much longer time than any type of paid advertising. You can slip in the rankings organically but not nearly as fast. You can continue to stay on top after your initial setup by incorporating a blog and regularly submitted blog posts and article submissions.
It is the ability to write your website content in such a way that it is appealing to the humans that are searching for it so that they are inclined to take the next intended step. These are the basics to any website and each of these plays a vital role in whether or not your website will do well. I have found that most people with a new website concentrate too much on how cool the website looks or they want a really fancy flash presentation. · Organic search results are focused on more highly than paid ads. · Blogging is highly beneficial to companies.
Managed services is a broad term for outsourcing many functions in business. Typically, business owners hear the term the first time they investigate IT outsourcing. It is also the favorite term for IT support companies looking to generate a recurring revenue stream. Medium and small business owners will find that IT companies offer varying descriptions of what they consider managed IT service packages. What is managed services?
Managed Services Defined
Wikipedia defines managed services as "the practice of outsourcing day-to-day management responsibilities and functions as a strategic method for improving operations and cutting expenses. This can include outsourcing HR-activities, production support and lifecycle build/maintenance activities."
Over at the MSP Alliance, they describe it as "the proactive management of an IT (Information Technology) asset or object, by a third party typically known as a MSP, on behalf of a customer. The operative distinction that sets apart a MSP is the proactive delivery of their service, as compared to reactive IT services, which have been around for decades."
And finally, Gartner defines a MSP as a company that "delivers network, e-management, application and system services across a network to multiple enterprises, using a "pay as you go" pricing model. A "pure play" MSP focuses on management services as its core offering. In addition, the MSP market includes offerings from other providers - including application service providers (ASPs), Web hosting companies and network service providers (NSPs) - that supplement their traditional offerings with management services."
Basically, the industry defines managed IT services as a program in which some portion of IT service is done proactively and with some sort of monthly fee. The process and results may vary depending on how the individual company approaches their support package.
Many IT support companies simply add some sort of service with a monitoring package for a nominal fee and call it managed services. On the other end of the spectrum, a full-time Managed Service Provider or MSP, will have an end-to-end platform in which they take responsibility for their clients' technology and a laser-like focus on improving the overall client experience and their technology results.
The Theory and Purpose
The basic theory behind the value of the service is that as a company grows and relies more on their technology, calling an IT company to resolve problems becomes costly and cumbersome. Some companies begin looking to have some proactive IT management mixed into their current strategy. There are many levels of monitoring and review in a proactive strategy. The overall goal should be to utilize the proactive activity to reduce the amount of reactive issues and business risks.
Alternatively, some companies opt to hire an internal IT person. Managed services, when done properly, should offer companies a cost effective solution that reduces reactive problems and helps the client plan for future issues and business changes. Using economies of scale and through best practices developed and refined across a base of clients, a good managed services approach should certainly be more cost effective than hiring internally and deliver better results.
Variations of Managed Services
While the definition can be somewhat vague, the variations are also sometimes confusing. Listed below are some of the more common "managed services" offering that a person may come across. While some would argue that the most basic offerings are not managed services at all, they are included if only to illustrate how much variation exists.
A monitoring only package is the least expensive and least effective of any managed services approach. It probably should not be considered managed services, however, many MSP's use it as an entry level service at a low cost. Once an alert occurs, the IT support company calls the client to schedule the necessary resolution at an additional fee. This method may shorten the response time by an IT company but does not do much to make a real positive change for the client.
The next step for many companies, this approach allows for some issue remediation. The boundaries are usually specific and somewhat restrictive. This approach may offer a set amount of hours for reactive network support per a time period or include limited response for specific server, computer or other technical issues. Any problems that fall outside of the defined perimeters incur a service fee.
Typically, website using this approach, the internal person can focus on his or her specific function and allow the managed services company handle the issues that occur outside of those perimeters. Using this model, the managed services company should be able to implement their process to positively affect the client's business while the employee is then not burdened by unnecessary distractions.
Note: Many companies feel the need to have an on-site person to more quickly respond to employee issues. This approach is usually costly and is generally not necessary. When done properly, the managed services approach should focus on minimizing the need for a reactive response by avoiding most day-to-day issues, negating the need for an on-site technician. Remote response can many times be faster than waiting for a person to respond, even if they are in the same building. In the rare occurrence of an issue that requires on-site personnel, an MSP should be well-equipped to respond appropriately.
Remote-Only Help Desk Support
Using this approach, the managed service company is able to implement their entire process with the only limitation being that any on-site service will be at an additional, sometimes discounted, cost. This model can be very effective for companies that require little on-site response or have a dispersed workforce. Most companies that use remote-only support can benefit from the higher level of service and results that a good MSP delivers and only pay for on-site response as needed.
Full IT Department
The full IT department package places all of the responsibility for the client's technology results in the hands of the MSP. When done properly, the MSP can utilize tools, technology, best practices and a well-developed process to:
Drive down reactive issues
Increase client productivity
Consult on technology decisions
Provide a multi-year budget
Reduce the client's overall business risk of data loss and downtime.
When a reputable managed service provider engages a client using this approach, they are committing to provide a positive result for a set monthly fee.
What Do You Need?
With the many variations and sometime loose definition of managed services, the typical business owner can be confused by multiple service delivery models. When pricing between companies can differ by large dollar amounts, this can be especially daunting. Business owners can sometimes lump all IT companies into the same category, but usually there are large disparities in approach, methods and expectations.
IT can be simple and an asset to your company, but making the right decision between MSP's can seem overwhelming. When evaluating a managed service provider to maintain your company's technology, focus on the results that the MSP promises. It is our belief that the best approach is for the MSP to be involved in all aspects of a client's technology. By getting to know our client's business and technology, we are more effective in providing the very best IT support and management. When something equally big goes wrong, managed service providers offering to partially manage your network are usually hoping for the big payday that comes.
In addition, the MSP market includes offerings from other providers - including application service providers (ASPs), Web hosting companies and network service providers (NSPs) - that supplement their traditional offerings with management services."
The basic theory behind the value of the service is that as a company grows and relies more on their technology, calling an IT company to resolve problems becomes cumbersome and costly. It probably should not be considered managed services, however, many MSP's use it as an entry level service at a low cost. Using this approach, the managed service company is able to implement their entire process with the only limitation being that any on-site service will be at an additional, sometimes discounted, cost. With the many variations and sometime loose definition of managed services, the typical business owner can be confused by multiple service delivery models.