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Technology has become part of our daily lives, and there is probably no aspect in human life which is left untouched by Internet. Technology also plays a positive role in managing a business, particularly food business. If you are into catering, you may probably want to save yourself some hassles in managing your files, stocks and inventory system by acquiring a catering business software.

This software can help you in many ways you never thought possible. Many caterers use the Point-of-Sale system to help them track the sales and purchases that the business had made. It can generate report for easy reference; you can get daily, weekly, monthly and yearly report to see the progress of your catering business.

In this catering business software, you can do bookkeeping with so much ease. You do not have to be an Accountant to know how to run it. Bookkeeping is very vital for all businesses. When you put up the business, your aim was to get the return of investment (ROI) in the shortest possible time. The POS system can keep track of all the incoming sales and outgoing expenses. It can also help the caterers to know other hidden costs involved in the business which is often neglected by the owners when it comes to computation of the profit-and-loss.

Aside from the accounting and inventory software, caterers may also need events management software. This will keep track of all the upcoming events wherein your catering business was hired to serve. This is a database management software where you can input all your clients information and special requests or notes for the events. This will save you from collecting all those calling cards inside your wallet. All you need to do is to input necessary information about your clients and your possible customers too.

Being organized in all your business transaction would make your life easier as a business entrepreneur. It will be easier for you to know whether your business is doing good or not. You can also see what areas you can improve on with regards to handling expenses and purchases. There will be lesser grey areas in terms of accounting because you have all the necessary details you need.

These are the only aspects wherein you can rely on technology in terms of handling your business. The rest of business management would require personalize touch, most especially when it comes to customer service. Your employees are important part of your catering business too. They are the ones who interact with your clients and they create the image of your business too.

We all know how special interest groups can blow things out of proportion – like the nonexistent “Exotic Pet Crisis.” If you listened to some animal rights groups, you’d think keeping exotic pets is cruel, dangerous, and even bordering on treason! Before you buy that agenda, consider that a junior high student once made a convincing case for banning dihydrogen monoxide: colorless, odorless, and tasteless, it kills thousands of people every year.

Most deaths are caused by inhalation, but the dangers of dihydrogen monoxide do not end there. Prolonged exposure to its solid form causes severe tissue damage. Dihydrogen monoxide is also known as hydroxl acid, is the major component of acid rain, may cause severe burns, contributes to land erosion, may cause electrical failures and decreased effectiveness of automobile brakes, and has been found in excised tumors of terminal cancer patients.

This report was presented to 50 students, asking them what should be done about the chemical. 43 students favored banning it, 6 were undecided, and only one correctly recognized that ‘dihydrogen monoxide’ is actually H2O — plain old water. How gullible are you?

Banning my cat makes about as much sense as banning yours – and the results are just as heartbreaking for pet and owner. Are you ready for the truth about the “Exotic Pet Crisis?”

  • Exotic pets are not dangerous! One study showed that the risk of injury to exotic cat owners was less than the risk of injury due to a domestic dog bite. And every person who drives a motor vehicle subjects themselves and their family to a risk three times greater then does someone who owns even a large exotic cat such as a tiger.
  • Most exotic pet owners are kind, intelligent people who adore their animals and take excellent care of them. We love our pets just as you love yours.
  • Exotic animal bans result in beloved pets being confiscated, impounded, and usually killed. A lucky few live out their lives in cages under the care of strangers in zoos and sanctuaries. This is the dirty secret animal rights groups don’t want you to know. Banning does not help animals: it kills them!
  • Exotic cat ownership is already regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Interior, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, CITES, the Animal Welfare Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Lacey Act, more city, county, and state regulations than you can shake a stick at, as well as existing animal welfare and public safety laws that govern both exotic and domestic animals.
  • “You can buy a tiger on the Internet for $100.00,” research-averse activists proclaim in horror. Just try to order up a tiger online, or even a serval. You won’t succeed. This urban legend has great repeatability at cocktail parties and save-the-cute-animals-from-evil-humans fundraisers, but is severely lacking in the reality department. Breeders do have web sites, but it takes much more than a click of the mouse to purchase an exotic cat.

 

As a small business owner, you most likely spend quite a large amount of time trying to discern new ways to gain customers. Marketing can be a fun or stressful business. They key is to understand the types of marketing.

Instead of sending your marketing budget in many different directions, you can choose a specific type and be consistent with it. You will quickly see that your marketing budget pays off much more quickly.

Here, you will find information on four of the main types of marketing. This way, you will be able to choose the marketing actions that will work best for your business. You will then be able to point your marketing budget in the right direction.

1. Blanket marketing is a type that is often used by larger business. Blanket marketing means that you spend money advertising to everyone. Many people choose to do blanket marketing by advertising in magazines or newspapers. You will not really have control of who sees your advertising, but you will have the potential to reach many people.

The downside to blanket marketing is that it can be quite expensive, and you could be wasting money marketing to people who may never become your customers at all. Blanket marketing is best for those who have plenty of funds available and who feel that they will be able to gain many customers from the plan.

2. Targeted marketing is a method in which you choose a certain demographic and only market to them. This could mean that you advertise to everyone in a certain area. Alternatively, you could advertise to everyone in a certain age range.

The great thing about targeted marketing is that you will have a much better chance at getting customers since you will be advertising to the types of people who would most likely become customers. The downside is that it will take a little legwork to determine who your target is and then find the right way to advertise to them.

3. Social media marketing could be called the new kid in town since it is relatively a young concept. With this marketing, you use any one of the many popular social media sites to advertise your company. You can also use a daily blog to garner business.

The downside to this type of marketing is that you will be sending your information out to many people who may not be interested at all. With blogs, you will have to take the time to keep the blog up to date. Otherwise, people may stop reading it.

4. The last type of marketing is not marketing at all. There are not upsides to this. It may seem like a way to save money, but when your business fails, you will actually lose a great deal of money. It is extremely important to find marketing funds within your budget.

The world has undergone enormous changes over the past decade. We now live in a world where communication is paramount. It seems that everyone and everything is connected in some way.

For school students this has made things much more efficient. Research papers that used to involve hours of laborious effort, can now be researched and documented without ever touching a card catalog or a periodical index. Worlds of information are now available at the click of a mouse.

Questions that people pondered without any answer previously can now simply be typed into any convenient search engine and answered almost immediately. There are countless sites filled with informative short articles all over the Internet. Videos and music can now be seen on demand and news from across the world can be delivered in an instant.

There are some people who worry that the technological revolution and evolution we are experiencing today is moving too fast. There seems to be a loss of privacy in some respects and the specter of a Big Brother society looms larger than it has since 1984. Whether their fears are well founded or not will remain to be seen, but it is unlikely that people will ever willingly give up the almost instant connections to our wired world.

Flying in the face of these fears are individuals who share their worlds through their blogs. What used to be shared with only close friends is now put online for millions of people to see if they should happen upon the blogger’s website. Individuals are learning to take advantage of this by using their well placed blogs to sell products and services. The internet has allowed individuals an opportunity to step on to the same playing field as the big boys of business. With the right information and the ability to get it seen, anyone can now reach the masses and share their thoughts, feelings and even sales pitches.

Businesses as well as individuals have come to rely on the Internet as a source of advertising and actual sales. Entire business models have been constructed and thriving based solely on using Internet websites. It is rare today to find a traditional brick and mortar establishment that does not have some type of online presence. Any business that does not adapt and grow to keep up with the newest technology seriously risks being left behind in the wake of their competitors who choose to ride technology’s leading edge.

Time will tell where this all will lead. We should make the most of the positive possibilities technology promises, but we should also keep a careful watch on where we are going.

 

Nearly everyone enjoys the different types of entertainment, and some people enjoy even more being entertainers. They want to become actors, comedians, dancers, singers. We used to go inside theatres after a hard day’s work to relax and see our favorite plays. But only in the last hundred years have we been able to record sound and pictures and to broadcast them through air. These improvements have brought fun and entertainment to every corner of the world and into most of our homes.

Technology has indeed made it possible for us to see entertainment in a new light. For one, technology has made it also possible for us to store our memories. Actors and singers long dead seem to come to life again every time their films or records are played. We can store a seemingly countless number of these records and films in CDs, hard drives and other storing devices like our computer. This makes it possible for us to entertain ourselves almost anywhere- at home, at the office, at the park, the bus; as long as we bring our devices with us. One can actually live without TV these days as long as one has a computer device and internet connection.

The world of entertainment has grown tremendously, and it can teach us as well as entertain us. Today, broadcasting is the most important form of popular entertainment. But now it is challenged by still newer inventions. Video playback and recording equipments make it possible for home viewers to buy or record their favorite shows. Many classic movies are already available for home viewing. This new equipment may encourage many viewers to spend fewer hours watching network offerings of situation comedies and action dramas. And now, we can record, transfer, and produce our own videos using cellular phones.

At the same time, the internet has revolutionized viewing habits in another way. The internet provides information on a lot of sources for movies, music, and other forms of entertainment. With internet connection, people can bring programs directly into their computer by doing downloads and many of these downloads are offered for free. Not only does it provide entertainment but we can even do some transactions like when you want to buy stun guns online.

The internet offer entertainment on almost all particular interests- music, news, and special information such as stock markets, weather, and social networking. These sources are made available to us faster than ever, as fast as the stun gun effects.  We can update on news even before they get broadcasted on TV through the different websites on the internet.

Never in recorded history have Entertainment and arts been so important in the lives of so many people. Modern inventions such as the internet have put nearly every person within reach of music and drama all day, every day, at home, and away from home. The internet has also made it possible for people not just become viewers but also the performers themselves as they are able to upload their own videos on different sites. The future of entertainment and arts is taking shape through technology and the people themselves.

 

According to the dictionary, the avant-garde current it is an artistic current which fights against the already known and accepted forms and traditions, suggesting a revolutionary formula. In other words, this avant-garde may be regarded as an artistic innovative movement, which came out from a spirit of negation and revolt against certain traditionalism. It has become a synonym of innovation, progress and rebellion.

In fashion, the avant-garde style is defined through its personality. Many designers have been asked to define this style and they all added a certain term to define it: sophisticated, mysterious, intimidating, intriguing, striking.The accessories have to be very modern, unusual, but elegant. All clothes should be matched with hats, belts or shoes in the most unusual shapes.

The models may intimidate because what they wear is beyond a normal image. Avant-garde fashion means a little bit of theatre. Most of the time, the clothes cannot be worn in the street because they belong to a flamboyant style. They are very innovative and can be a bit shocking. Somehow, this style does not refer only to fashion. It means a mixture between fashion and art.The avant-garde fashion teaches women to have a certain attitude.

Avant-garde clothes mean unusual ones, which catch the eye and does not let you fade in the crowd. In fact, when we discuss about avant-garde fashion, we should not talk only about clothes. In the end, the result of the avant-garde has to be a whole form. For this reason, the make-up has to go hand in hand with the clothes.

The make-up has to express something new, unexpected, and even exotic. A niche for the avant-garde style in fashion was connected to men and the items designed especially for them.

At the beginning, women were the perfect models to underline these innovative ideas. Little by little, the designers extended upon men. First of all, they wanted to surprise through their clothes, later on every little detail mattered. One example may be the boots designed especially for them. A mixture of styles, the first tendency towards rejection and then the craziness of wearing them are some of the reactions encountered.

Many dealerships regard the automotive service manager as an integral part of their business. They are the people responsible for acting as a go-between customers and service staff. They are also responsible for other duties within this department.

These managers hire for their department and must choose the most qualified person for the job. They are in charge of overseeing the employees to make sure they meet the dealership’s quality standards. They are directly responsible for teaching these to the employees. Evaluations of employees are also part of their job within their department.

They must set a business plan into place and enforce the goals so they are met. This makes them accountable for the budgeting of the department in making sure the labor costs are kept in check, inventory balances, and they suffer no additional costs by retaining employees. This also covers a marketing campaign plan to gain new customers, as well as keep the old – through coupons, merchandising and staffing needs.

They must stay current with the changes in the industry by attending classes, seminars, and reading literature. This also includes understanding and implementing any policy changes within the dealership, and offering suggestions for change to make the department run smoother. They must also be able to schedule classes for other employees and themselves when such are offered through the car manufacturer so everyone gets the most current information.

It is also the automotive service manager’s responsibility to stay on top of warranties and recalls offered by the manufacture. They will be required to send the warranty work in for payment and will be held accountable for write-offs to the department for failure to comply with the information. They also are the link between the factory representative and the dealership, and may be required to attend meetings and conferences to further this relationship.

The main duty of a manager is to handle customer complaints quickly and efficiently and maintain customer service and the department. They must create and act upon a plan to keep the customers coming back and must have a way to compromise to ensure customer satisfaction. Bringing in new customers is also a job duty, and they must make sure that the service will turn them into repeat customers.

The education for this position requires a bachelor’s degree in business administration or a complimentary technical field. You must have at least five years experience working in the industry, and many companies require an Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification. Some will allow work experience to compensate for the college education, where the candidate has many years of experience performing the duties.

There are some instances where travel agents can travel for free, but for the most part they do come out of their pocket. Below are three instances where travel agents can rack up extra savings and put money back into their pockets.

I will share my savings experience as a home-based agent, which has caused me to save hundreds of dollars!

Get Paid on Retail or Sale Pricing

When I travel as an insider, I get paid when I book travel for myself (and of course I get paid when I do it for others). The price I pay could be the same as any one that is not part of the industry, the difference would be I get a check and you don’t! Commissions are already built-into the price of what you see online or what your travel agent quote you already has the commissions built-in. (they are never in addition to price quoted, if you are told extra fees need to be added to cover commission… run)

Travel at Net or Wholesale Pricing

Now, if I decide that I want to travel at a lower cost and forgo my commission, I still have to pay the net cost, I just would not get paid for the trip. You can get travel at great bargains if you travel this way!

But, I must add that various agencies may have ‘special’ discounted trips that agents can take for themselves or sell to their clients and STILL get a commission! I love these because your getting paid AND the rates can be even better than net rate PLUS you have a great deal you can offer to your clients. Only downside is that there may be a limit on how many can travel and restricted to specific dates.

Travel on the Industries Dime

What about those really dirt cheap trips? Yes, dirt cheap destinations do exist and are exclusive for travel agents and are typically known as FAM trips or Familiarization trips. These trips are more educational for travel agents and teach agents about the property or destination experience they are visiting.

Vendors invite agents on these ‘FAM’ trips so they can get more in-depth knowledge to share with their clientele. The goal is to promote to get more bookings for those properties or destinations. Prices for these trips are such a steal that they might as well be free!

Just to recap, travel agents pay for their trips in four ways:

1. Travel at retail pricing & get paid the already built-in commission

2. Travel at retail minus already built-in pricing (therefore no commissions are paid)

3. Travel at wholesale plus get a commission (vary per agency and limits dates & quantity)

4. Travel on a FAM trip – steeply discounted trips (exclusive to travel agents

It is not clear how music influences the individual. Some experts insist that music and musicians influence young people. Other sources insist that certain individuals respond to particular types of music and musical expression. Either way, today’s youth can see how their favorite musicians dress and behave, both in public and in private, via the multiple media sources which are constantly monitoring the world’s celebrities. Young people can then elect to change their own appearance and behavior to reflect the musician and musical style that they most identify with.

Two separate, but related, theories explain how individuals relate to and express themselves through music. Social identity theory indicates that people “borrow” their identity from the society in which they live. The individual’s adopting of a group identity through music is a way for that person to conform to the ideals, goals, and norms of the society as a whole. The opposite of social identity theory says that some individuals elect to behave in a manner that is contrary to societal norms. These people prefer to adopt their own style and stand apart from everyone else. This is called personal identity theory. These theories are interrelated because, even though personal identity theory identifies the individual aspects of expression, the person is still identifying as a part of a sub-group.

Young people are more likely to subscribe to varying forms of identification through music; especially those forms that my not conform to the larger society. As young people move through the adolescent years and into young adulthood, they are more likely to explore and experiment with their own identity through music than older adults, who have likely settled into one genre that they identify with. Looking at music in this way makes it easier to see how it has always been, and remains, a socializing agent; a way for young people to explore their independence as they move away from the authority of their parents.

This perspective on music can hide the influence that music has on children. The music of the past century has played an important role in the lives of young adults, yet music may be having an expanding effect on individuals who are even younger. Remember that music has always been an important part of every society. Children are socialized through songs that are shared with them at many ages. Children’s songs can be as simple as songs that teach basic information, such as ABC’s and 123’s, and they can teach social skills and acceptable behavior (think Sesame Street and Barney). Still, children have access to the same music that young adults have access to; and sometimes this music is not age-appropriate. This phenomenon has ushered in the debates about whether or not exposure to certain musical influences is having a harmful effect on the nation’s youth.

Interestingly, one study has found that females are more likely to be influenced by music than males, although both genders find expression through music satisfying. This may be because females are typically socialized as members of a societal group and males are typically encouraged to be self-sufficient. The study’s authors believe that the socialization process makes females more susceptible to musical influences than males.

Meet the Chontaduro or Palm Fruit

What’s that?” I asked staring at the plum-sized fruit the woman peeled in her hand.

These are chontaduros from the coast.” “How would you like yours?

How can I have them?” I queried back.

You can have them with salt or honey.

Then give me two of each.

The middle-aged Black woman sat on the top stair leading into the strip mall. Her clothing was well worn, reflecting a hard life and lower stratus. She set to work straightaway. After peeling four of the fruits she cut them in half lengthwise to pry out the single black seed in the center using a small paring knife. Then she dipped the fruit into a small bowl of salt coating half of the fruit. Repeating the procedure with two more chontaduros plucked from a plastic basin full on her lap, she dropped these into a narrow plastic bag while drizzling a stream of honey first over one then another dropped into the bag on top of the first. A separate bag held the two salted ones. With the thick, tough skin peeled off, the lone seed removed and the fruit quartered, there is no waste. I preferred the salted ones.

A Little Known Culinary Treasure

Scientifically named Bactris gasipaes, the Chontaduro or Palm fruit as it is sometimes called, is common in many of the Pacific Ocean coastal regions of Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, Peru, Venezuela and Ecuador. Varieties also grow in parts of the West Indies. Some of its many other names include Cachipay, Pejibaye, Pijuayo and Pupunja. The skin (epicarp) of the fruit can range in color from red to orange or yellow depending on the variety of the palm. It has a firm texture, slightly starchy taste and its pulp is dry and a bit stringy, but its popularity is extensive nonetheless. In Colombia, for example, it is used in dozens of recipes but is principally eaten boiled in salted water, peeled then dipped in salt or drizzled with honey. To date, the chontaduro has limited popularity outside its locally grown regions. This is beginning to change however, as its use in gourmet fare increases and its availability expands. The Palm fruit though, is a little known culinary treasure working its way up the exotic food rankings.

Cooking with Chontaduro

In sauces, soups, stews and baked delicacies though, the Chontaduro has no equal. The Palm fruit can also be used to make flour, jellies or pressed to release its high cholesterol content oil. Most people eat the fruit after its boiled in salted water, then peeled and dipped in salt, marmalade or honey. When the boiled fruit is peeled and seeded, it can be shredded, grated, ground or processed into a puree base, then used in sauces, crèmes or bases. A particular favorite is a cooked Palm fruit sauce poured over or glazed onto fish and seafood. Its unique flavor makes an interesting base for soups and stews. The pulp can be pickled, fermented, jellied or dried and ground for use in a broad range of additional applications. So if you’re looking to spice up your own recipes, try cooking with chontaduros for a unique flavor twist.