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IT'S TIME TO STOP
2010.08.30 08:08 taylornator7IT'S TIME TO STOP
AskMen: the premier place to ask random strangers about the intricacies of the human condition. Just don't be an asshole about it.
2010.09.08 00:52 Prompts and motivation to create something out of nothing
Writing Prompts. You're a writer and you just want to flex those muscles? You've come to the right place! If you see a prompt you like, simply write a short story based on it. Get comments from others, and leave commentary for other people's works. Let's help each other.
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2020.09.28 12:01 Business-Complaint-9MY DYING LAST DAYS, GETTING F****D BY SUDDENLINK!! (Charging Me A Service $60 Fee On The 3rd Time Out, To No Avail Why I Wasn't Getting HS Net, For Him To Tell Me, "IT MAY VERY WELL BE A GHOST OR SOMETHING, BECAUSE A HOME NEARBY WAS A PASTORS WHO HELD FUNERALS THERE IN THE EARLY 1900s)
I was warned about Suddenlink when I moved to WV after losing home in Florida from hurricane. BUT, there really is no other with proper service for HS Internet. First, ordered just low internet. Within hours would get 10-20 texts/emails offering to upgrade. Took deal, $99 for Phone, 2nd Tier Cable 200 Channels and 400 MBPS HS Internet, PLUS $200 Amazon Gift Card offer. Was to be installed between 1 and 4pm. Called at 5pm, told on their way, 6:00 "En Route" 7:30, She hung up on me, 9pm, "Checked w/driver, he is Enroute". Installer didn't get here until a little after 10pm. He said, they told him I was an irate customer that demanded the installation TODAY!... LIED. He installed 2 Altice ONE boxes, both didn't work, he called his Sup. They were here until after 1am. Sup gave him the next day off, I tipped them $30. I then soon realized NONE of my devices were getting more than 35 MBPS Internet. 3 phones, Desk PC, 2 Laptops and I even had people I knew, that had never been here, to enter and log onto WiFi in case we all got a virus. NOPE, No more than 35MBPS. Called and tech came out, once...had no idea, twice, had no idea, three times w/the third so confused he said it MAY BE A GHOST because the house in front was once home to Pastor who held funerals in early 1900s. A GHOST! I then received a $60 fee on my bill for them to come out, yet nothing was fixed. Then on one of the countless calls, the CS Agent said it was because our area couldn't get those speeds! Yet, I was paying for it for NOW 5 months. He said he would have the Tech fee reversed. After calling about the Amazon card once, they told me I had to wait 90 days, second call they said I had to wait six months, third call, they gave me a number to call, number was invalid. Called now in my later part of sixth month, person gave me another number and since the tech fee did not show on my bill, he said he escalated it to priority and said it would be off. NOW, well into my 7th month, after paying all this time for 400MBPS at $99 plus taxes and fees, with the total at first being $120, then slowly each month went up to $146, I called again for the Amazon and the credit and after speaking with 5 people, I was told by one, I wouldn't get a credit for the service call because I didn't sign up for and pay for "Safeline" (Never heard of it, was never offered it, would never have taken it!..if your service doesn't work, WHY would I pay for you to fix something that never worked that you sold me). I was sent to Supervisor who said they didn't even know what Safelline was! Then HE said that I could have gotten the credit but it was now past the second billing cycle since the tech came out and they cant credit past two months! Then asked about Amazon card, got the 5th guy, after all of the others told me that I had to wait 90 days, then it was 120 days, then two different times to call 2 diff numbers, none worked, now THIS person told me this.... and this is really good!.. You ready?...."In order to receive the card, you must pay your first three bills 10 DAYS BEFORE THE DUE DATE"...He didn't say, you I had to pay it within 10 days of the due date, meaning PAST the due date and he he was also telling me, simply PAYING THE BILL ON TIME, meaning 1 day early, 3 days early, 7 days early, which in today's economy and crisis, just paying your bill on time, as long as it's not past the due date should be considered an EXCELLENT payment history, right? NOPE, I had to pay the bill no later than ten days BEFORE the due date!!!! I went back to everything I had, I typed in the phrase in various ways online and nothing came up. I looked at every bill and my contract and receipt I was given both times!...NOTHING. By the way, YES, I am dying. I have Lupus and recently was diagnosed with Stage 4 Melanoma skin cancer and had 1/4 of my torso skin taken off. Because of my Lupus, I am not able to be put under general anesthesia for staples, so they had to sew me with what they call Couch Staples. The cancer as made its way to my spine where I have three tumors and they cant do anything about them. NOW, I am not one to play the sick card, but after calling Suddenlink 18 times, that I kept track of, towards the end (More recent) I would get so frustrated at a different story told, excuse after excuse and LIES, I started letting them in on my other problems. Not that we all dont have some and don't expect special treatment, but I do expect what I paid for, not to be lied to time and time again and be f****d month after month, without even any lube!. At least others have been kind enough to offer THAT!. Yes, I joke, because I have to, but after the final call this week I lost it. When I was told I wasn't getting the card, I let loose, swore, yet never directed it at the person, and I USUALLY do not hold the reps accountable for corporate policies. HOWEVER, there is a point where you see that this company is SOOOO corrupt and that they dish out so many lies and scams, that it must really take a certain kind of person to work at a place like that and can do that to customers. I know some have kids and all that, but EVERY single person I have spoken with has lied, aimlessly uttered something like they cared and apologized, which are simply words on a cue card someone told them to say. I myself could never work at this place, EVER. I could not lie so blatantly to people. Especially when someone is so exhausted after bouncing around for 3 hours and 21 minutes as I had been this past Friday. I told the last guy, who amazingly spoke pretty good English...BECAUSE HE SPOKE IN THE QUEEN'S ENGLISH, as in British. Where HE came from I will never know. I told him Suddenlink and CEO Dexter Goei can "Go Eff themselves" and said I was cancelling as soon as I called AT&T, the only other company with decent internet service. The only other is Frontier, who wouldn't exist if it wasn't for mass exodus of pissed off Suddenlink customers and I heard their service is so bad most end up going back to Suddenlink. Ill just have to suck it up if that's the case. I have had my attorney in Los Angeles, who I admit is my Entertainment Atty and also who is handling my will since I am in the situation I am in with my health, but attorneys go to school and learn all law and then they enter into a certain field, so its not like he is totally not capable of SOMETHING, so he is filing complaints with the FCC and State Comptroller of both WV, NY and IL where their corporate filings and/or assets are kept, which includes Altice and Cablevision. He is also filing some other federal complaints other than the FCC because much of the money comes from and goes back to the company that purchased Suddenlink in 2015, or around then, that are based in France. Ironically, down on one of the street corners near the WV State Capitol Complex in Charleston, which is where I live, there has been a group of people, usually one dressed in a banana costume (Who knows, I guess to get you to look) holding signs about Suddenlink and Class Action Lawsuits filings. In my 53 years, with years that I worked FOR someone in a career position and not just "A Job", I have worked for either telecommunication companies (AT&T, Bell Atlantic and Southern Bell/BellSouth) and also the newly formed at the time because of the breakup of 'Ma'Bell' and being unregulated, with the then ability to diversify from telecommunications, the new AT&T Banking Division out of Jacksonville, Florida launching their new AT&T branded "Universal Card Visa/MC", for which I/We won the Malcolm Baldrige Award, a National award that was given for excellence in customer service. One of the requirements were that you had to have been in business for at least five years. In an unprecedented first, we won the top prize in our SECOND year. We had such high numbers they broke their own rules. AT&T Universal's CEO had the gold award melted down and made into smaller awards for each employee. I say this to show that I KNOW what kind of customer service a company not only should posses to keep customers, but that I also know when it goes beyond that, breaking laws, which they seem to have done quite clearly in my opinion and if the many class action lawsuits have any say. I also ventured into the Banking/Credit Card/Credit Reporting areas as well, including a couple years working late stage collection which even included "Skip Tracing". If anyone knows anything about that, they know that most late stage collectors, 3rd party collections and Skip Tracers, who are more PIs then Customer Service Reps and there are MANY horror stories of what Skip Tracers have done to find a person owing a debt, including calling neighbors, telling them there was a family emergency so they would walk next door to get the debtor to come to their house, only to fund the collector on the phone. Though I worked for a better bank than that, the horror stories I have heard, including repossession companies do not even come CLOSE to the lies and scams Suddenlink as pulled on FOR SURE myself, with proof, and seemingly others besides me in masses. Something needs to be done and until Im dead, I will do a little each day to chip away and warn others. I must get my roommate up for work and make breakfast and their lunch, so I don't have time to edit this for grammar or spelling, as I'm already behind, so my apology for that. Thanks
2020.09.28 10:57 Buck_JoffreyWealth Formula Episode 231: Should You Buy a Franchise?
Catch the full episode: https://www.wealthformula.com/podcast/231-should-you-buy-a-franchise/ Buck: Welcome back to the show everyone today my guest on Wealth Formula Podcast is Kim Daly. Now Kim, well she has been in this space, this franchise space for a long time, for the last 20 years and she's been helping people achieve their financial goals, enabling them to get into the franchise opportunities that are most appropriate for them. She's got a lot of incredible background but you know her skills are really matching a client's background interest and skills and ultimately life goals and to matching them into top franchise opportunities and so today we're going to pick her brain get some insight into what may seem like a daunting process, but one that you know I've considered. I know a number of people have considered in the past and with that let me introduce Kim Daly. Kim, welcome to the show. Kim: Thank you Buck it's great to be here. Buck: So Kim I want to just start out by asking you, like how did you get into this space as a franchise consultant? How did you arrive there? Kim: I mean are you questioning that I didn't grow up saying hey I want to be a franchise consultant? Buck: That's right. Kim: Yeah I fell into it like you know a lot of people fall into their thing. I was an entrepreneur and it started many businesses and the first job and the only job I actually had after college, I was on my way to med school and I answered a classified ad in the newspaper, remember the classified ads? And it was for a franchise company and it changed the direction of my life. Buck: So you were going to be a doctor is that right? Kim: Yeah so growing up there were two things I wanted to be Buck. I wanted to be a motivational speaker and I wanted to be a doctor but like how does one become a motivational speaker really right so you go to med school and you want to help people you go to med school but here I am you know many years later and basically I am a motivational speaker I mean I inspire people to the dream of business ownership and using my own entrepreneurial experiences in the last 18 years as a franchise consultant and really becoming an expert and a voice in this industry to help people really understand what franchising is, what's the real value proposition, what are you getting, what are you owed, what are you not owed, how to explore franchising, how to ask the right questions, so that's what I do. Buck: Have you yourself owned franchises and I mean I just obviously don't know a whole lot about your background but have you actually you know owned them yourself and is that part of the experience? Kim: Yes so this business that I'm in called Franchoice. Buck: It's a franchise isn't it? Kim: Yes it is. It's like a franchise, I mean we don't have a franchise agreement we have a consultant agreement but it's the same setup. You said you're from Minnesota we are headquartered in Eden Prairie. So I am supported yeah I'm supported by a corporate office I pay royalties back to my back to my corporate office and so and they go out what they do is they go out and they contract with the very best franchisors. So they're doing all of the homework for me in terms of creating an inventory of opportunities that I can bring to people so that my full-time effort can be dedicated to finding investors who want to learn about franchising and then bringing the two together like a matchmaker. Buck: Got it okay. So let's talk about first of all what is a franchise and why should anyone consider you know buying into a franchise? Kim: Okay sure so you know a franchise investment really, I'm going to go for the investors perspective that's sort of the audience. So a franchise investment is all about buying down the learning curve of starting a business right because you're partnering yourself with people who've already gone out there and figured it out. So the entrepreneurial path is to create as you go right the trial and error the missed opportunities from spending time trying to figure things out and that can become very costly right? And that's why in fact many entrepreneurs fail mainly because they run out of money before they really figure out how to make money. So here on the franchising path where from day one you're gonna pay a franchise fee right which goes to the franchisor and that buys you access to this proven business plan, the initial training, the vendors, technology, a proven marketing plan and ongoing support. So it's this idea that you are in business for yourself but not by yourself. So you're not that entrepreneur out there in the wilderness chopping down trees hoping that you're making up a trail that you know leads somewhere good, you're paying a fee to walk on a trail where the path has already been created and you're going to be supported all along the way. So that's kind of like tactically what we're doing is we're buying this we're buying down the learning curve because we're buying into this proven business plan but ultimately when I'm really working with my investors I really want to make a connection for them to the partnership. So it's one thing to buy into a proven plan but it's another thing to buy into an organization of very strong leadership where the people that you're giving your royalty dollars to have your best interest at heart where they are out there every day looking to grow the opportunity keep your opportunity relevant to the times like a time like we're in right. I've always said for years that widgets will not make an investor happy long, term like buying a you know a particular business because you love the product. Leadership is what makes you happy as an investor. When your leadership can pivot your company in an adverse time can keep your company growing and keep it relevant to the competition and to the changing customer demand I mean we're in business to make money so that's ultimately what keeps your business thriving and growing and makes you money right. So ultimately what you're really buying in a franchise is you're buying a relationship. Buck: Yeah makes sense so and let's talk about you know just comparing that and contrasting that with you know other options and for example you know I before we got on I mentioned you know I've started a few different businesses myself, I would say that it's definitely not for everybody to do that because I think there's as you mentioned there's a significant learning curve frequently. Your idea ends up either you know doing great or you end up losing a bunch of money and then you also fundamentally I think have to have a certain itch and I think that that might be a little different from your typical franchise person who's really looking potentially on something to say I don't need to be this guy who came up with this new idea, I just like this idea of running a business and I don't really want to waste a bunch of money I mean is that kind of the major difference between starting from scratch and franchising? Kim: 100 so well said yeah right franchisees want to take somebody else's idea run with it and make money and you know I talk about building wealth through franchising and the wealth gets created through the scale like it could take an entrepreneur five years to figure out the business and get it up and going and in that five-year time period I could take a franchisee who could own five locations of whatever they're doing right because again not sitting and figuring anything out from day one you are going you're moving toward profitability because you have this proven plan in front of you and you're executing and you're being held accountable you know to execute and to go. Buck: Yeah and then and then the other option of course is to look and say you know go to one of these sites like biz buy sell blah blah blah you know and take a business that you know that is currently on sale that may not be a franchise and potentially buy something like that. I honestly have looked in that space before because again just having some various interests and thinking I'll plug and chug let's do it. The challenge there I've found is being a guy who started businesses on my own, I know there's always stuff buried in closets that if you buy something unless it's a very very significantly large business with operations and things in place and management that you can potentially get screwed. Kim: Skeletons in the closet. Buck: Yeah right is that kind of and I don't mean to be giving you the answers but I'm guessing what the problems are with some of the other approaches to business ownership is that how you would is that kind of what you see in that space? Kim: Yeah you know what you know what Buck I mean when I meet someone and I'm asking you know what are your goals what do you want to use this business for, there are many ways to skin the cat right? Franchising is just one option. I certainly don't try to push everybody into a franchise investment, it's not right for everybody and for that person who may be looking to recover a corporate salary let's say you've been severed from your job and you're looking to you know recover 200 or 300 thousand dollars in income like within three or four months I mean starting a business from scratch is not the answer right it's not going to happen so buying an existing business for sale could be a better fit but the thing you have to you have to know is that if you're buying a business that's throwing off that kind of cash you're paying for that right so multiple of that and so you that ups the risk because now you got to put down you know lots and lots and lots of money compared to if you have the time to kind of allow the business to ramp and like you said you get to be there for every you know hiccup in the business. When people come to me and ask me about buying an existing business for sale I say it's sort of like the difference between having a baby and adopting a teenager right so if you if you adopt a teenager and you haven't been there to like develop the personality and you don't really know like why they have a chip on their shoulder and other than that teenagers all have chips on their shoulders but like you know I see where I'm going with that versus when you have a baby and you're there for every milestone in that child's life and you're developing and nurturing that personality then when they grow up you know exactly how they got to who they are right that's sort of that's exactly what you were saying and that's sort of the difference between the two but I mean again I help people buy into existing franchises that are for sale so it really depends on the investors goals and the time frame in which they would like to achieve those goals assuming that they're realistic and that's part of what I do as their consultant is to help them understand what reality looks like and to make sure that you know any of these owning a business buying a business is the right option for them. Buck: Got it and and so when you when you think about returns on these, well there's two questions I have. One is if you could talk about you know the cost and that sort of thing for franchises you know as a function of returns, how do you typically look at that or is it all over the board? Kim: Okay so the first thing I'll say is as the consultant in the process I never ever make any earnings claims to anybody right it's just not my job I'm not a business broker I don't have a license to sell a franchise so I don't get into the idea of like answering the financial questions. What I do is I teach people what are the right questions to ask I'm not a big fan of asking a business owner like how much do you make because it depends it depends on their you know what kind of tax advantages they're taking advantage of it depends on how they finance their business are they paying off loans was it cash right there's too many depends on that question but so I'm going to teach my candidates how do you really learn the financial opportunity of a business more by understanding what owners are doing when they wake up to go drive that activity right. So I want to teach them how to turn every business sort of into a sales pipeline and understand like where do I apply the gas to drive the maximum speed in this business and you want to go to the top performing franchisees in a system to really hear what they're doing. Oftentimes people out of fear will say, you know I think it's out of fear they think well I'm going to talk to the people who who it hasn't worked out for and I'm like well you know when you turn to the people who it hasn't worked out for what is that really going to teach you. When you turn to the top performing people who've mastered the model to this point in its growth they're going to have a science to what they do especially if they've been able to replicate those results year over year over year. So they can tell you logically, not emotionally, what is driving their top performance. Now if you know what's driving top performance logically then you equally know why people in your business will not be successful so very often when you talk to people who it hasn't worked out for there's a lot of emotion and opinion behind their failure that I find often times no offense to anybody who's ever lost money because it is very disheartening right if you fail in your business but oftentimes it's not the truth it's just their truth does that make sense. That's a very evasive answer to your question, that’s all you're gonna get. Buck: Well you know we're a group of investors a lot of times we want to we kind of want to cut to the chase. And along that line you know you had you mentioned okay well you're trying to you know you lost the job you're trying to replace income. My wonderful audience we many of us are spoiled rotten, we're just looking to make more money all right it's not a sob story it's just you know how do I make more money and and you know from a tax perspective I've addressed the the idea of business ownership many times, the problem is that I've got a number of investors listeners of this podcast who are making you know multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars multi you know even multiple millions of dollars and they are interested potentially in getting involved with business because what they're doing right now is say they’re a neurosurgeon making a million and a half a year and they want they want to do something in the business space but you know what frankly they're not going to be driving to work every morning they may want to be more passive they may be interested in potentially having you know some interest in managing managers but not really beyond that, are franchises something that can be relatively passive for individuals looking to create wealth through owning businesses or is this a all hands on deck kind of thing. Kim: It's a great question and it's definitely can be used as a semi-absentee investment unlike starting a business from scratch that entrepreneurial route which would really require the owner to be there through every stage of it. So if you invest in the right type of business that is set up for semi-absentee ownership that can be manager run that would rely on the manager's expertise to carry out the day-to-day functions rather than the owner's expertise then that that could absolutely be achieved and that's actually how you scale a business and really build that wealth you know and you'll talk to people about you really don't need experience and some for some people that feels counterintuitive and I'm like well you'll hire to the experience of the business I need you to be the CEO who can manage managers who then will work in the business while you work on the business right. So in that semi absentee investor state you might be putting in 10 to 15 hours a week at night or on the weekends and it could even be less than that. There is a highly selective group of businesses that are really more of an investor's play, they're more expensive to get into. So there's always this trade-off of money for time right so the the less time the owner would be putting in the more infrastructure there has to be to support that business right the more time you're willing to put in as the owner the lower that investment could be because you're making up for that infrastructure with your own effort and time does that make sense. Buck: Yeah for sure like anything else I mean I think the more you know generally speaking the higher the risk you know the you're not going to pay as much and if you're looking for things that are turnkey you're going to pay more so I mean it's pretty typical stuff. Let's talk a little bit about the fact that we are in a sort of you know an unusual time you know with this whole pandemic thing I don't know if you heard about heard about it and how is it affecting you know the types of businesses that you deal with or is it all over the board? I mean I'm curious. Kim: Yeah it's been an interesting time and you know this is again when I say like widgets don't make investors happy long term but strong leadership in a franchise does. Never has there been a better time in history and franchising than now to be looking at franchising because you can really see where there are strong cultures and and strong leadership, where franchisees are not panicking there's been a pivot in their business model to maybe a virtual platform to a delivery service. So I mean I've seen franchisors eliminate royalties and turn corporate revenue streams like through online purchases to back to their franchisees reducing royalties like all kinds of things have happened here to help save our franchisees and by the best of the best franchisors. I certainly don't speak for every franchise organization out there I imagine there are some that are really struggling and the leadership hasn't really met the demands but in my little Santa Barbara boutique world here at Franchoice which is the best of the best in franchising Buck: Wait Santa Barbara what are you talking about I didn't know you guys were in Santa Barbara. Kim: Hey I used to live in Boca Raton I usually use that example Boca is like the most perfectly manicured places that's sort of like what we have here in my inventory. I'm not matching people to just any franchise out there I'm matching them to the best of the best. And the best of the best as validated by their existing franchise owners like it's one thing to be ranked in the top 500 out of you know entrepreneurs top 500 but it's quite another when the majority of the franchise owners that my team would speak with say you know hey I knowing what I know a hundred percent I would do this again you know even if you're not making the kind of money you got in for and they're willing to validate that they would do it again I mean that's amazing validation right and during your due diligence process as you work with me to explore franchise opportunities to find the one that's like the best fit for you, a big portion of what we're going to do is we're going to go out and we're going to interview those existing franchise owners and that question of you know how much money does it really take to get the business going and what kind of returns are there, we're actually going to address it to the people who've invested the money and who are making the return. The franchisor by law has to disclose this information in their franchise disclosure document so the federal trade commission regulates franchising and every year a franchisor must produce what's called an FDD or a franchise disclosure document, it's kind of like the prospectus for a stock right so it entitles you the investor to full disclosure if there's ever been any lawsuits or bankruptcies any fees you're obligated to pay and in there there's a section on the initial startup cost and there's also an earnings claim section. So we can pull numbers out of that franchise disclosure document but I always try to coach my candidates to understand that a document is just that right it's not a living breathing thing that a business is. So in order to really understand the story that those numbers create we have to be in relationship with the people, we have to be out there talking to the franchisor and then taking what we're learning in that book theory from the franchisor and validating that in the real world by talking to their existing franchisees and ultimately I don't know if you're aware of this but a franchise is not yours to buy until the franchisor has offered you the opportunity. So the evaluation that you're going through it's a mutual evaluation and ultimately they say hey Buck: Swipe left swipe. Kim: Right we think you're qualified we want you but do you want us and at that point then it's your business to say yes or no. Buck: Okay so I am listening to this podcast and I'm like oh gosh you know has been telling me that my W2 stuff even though I'm making a lot of money then I need to consider having some business ownership possibility this franchising sounds really interesting this Kim Daly person sounds like she knows what she's talking about. So what happens when I reach out to you and we'll talk about how to reach out to you in a minute. The person who's reaching out to you, tell us a little bit about the process that they go through with you, what that looks like, what you do in the whole process you know and then presumably to the point where you're purchasing some kind of you know where somebody's purchasing an asset. Kim: Okay great I love that question. So the first thing I do in order to bring opportunities to someone is I have to get to know them personally, professionally and financially. Who are you and what are you looking for, what are your dreams, what are your goals, what are you going to use this business investment for? Once we've clearly identified or outlined those characteristics through a basic questionnaire and then about a one-hour consultation phone call then I get to work and I go to go do some research come back a few days later with what I believe are the top three to five options that have available territory where you would like your business to be and that match those characteristics that we've outlined together. So then I would make a high level introduction between you and the franchisors I called this my blind date right blind date round it's like speed dating you're gonna start talking to franchisors you're gonna play the field and I'm gonna become your dating coach and I'm gonna teach you how to like keep your mind open and just go with the flow and have some fun there's so many ways to make money I think that's like the most fascinating part of my business is we get trained on new concepts all the time and it's like what are they going to think of next you know. If there's a business for it there's a franchise of it and there's just so many ways to make money. So once you go through your blind date round and you kind of get your bearings and you have some thoughts and opinions about what I have found for you then we start working together to to pair this list down and then I'm going to really get into the back end coaching like how do you actually explore franchise so that you can be competent that you've asked the right questions, you've done all the right things so when you're ready to say yes or no you can feel very confident in your final decision. And I work with candidates for about one to two months I've been doing this for about 18 years and I'm very consistent around that six week mark if this is the right thing for you don't have to spend six months figuring it out, no offense but no franchisor wants to date you for six months. We want decision makers we want to you know get in there learn the information absorb it move on to the next chapter learn the information absorb it move on and then complete that process and then just say yes or no. And all of my service I should have started out with this but everything I do Buck everything I do for people it's free. Buck: Okay because you're because you're ultimately like a you know like a real estate agent then right? Kim: I’m like an executive recruiter like for franchising. Buck: Right so they they pay you. Kim: The franchisor yeah so it's free. People are like really you're not going to hit me with a backend fee? Never. I'm going to offer you all kinds of coaching but on the flip side of that, what I tell people is when they get if they get argumentative with me I'll be like, you're not paying me any money and you don't have to take any advice I'm ever going to give you right there's no reason for me to mislead you but ultimately it's your life it's your decision so I'm just here to guide you if you want my guidance but at the end of the day people are making decisions on their own. Buck: Yeah understood. Let's talk about what goes into that. So you make the introduction but it doesn't just end up with an introduction right you mean you you're gonna do some due diligence together you're going to say well how you looking at this these are the issues that you're you know that you need to look at okay let's let's look at their uniform circular or whatever those things are called what are the things I need to look at I mean I presume all that's part of the the the process from the consulting side absolutely yep and it used to be called a uniform franchise offering circular excuse me and then it got changed to the franchise disclosure document. So you have looked at franchising before. Buck: I told you you know I have I mean I have entrepreneurial ADD and so I've looked at anything and part of what makes me pretty good at what I do on the investing side is my you know my my desire to constantly be looking at things so yeah I have looked at very briefly I mean I've never really learned enough I've learned enough to be dangerous where I could you know I may have gone to directly to a franchise and said yeah I wonder what it would be like to own a bunch of subways and then they sent me a big you know packet which was called the uniform circular at one point and I was like yeah I'm not gonna go look through this I'm not gonna. Kim: No I save people time I mean ultimately yes if you're going to sign a franchise agreement I think you do need to have familiarize yourself with all parts of that franchise disclosure document but that's where I come in so I'm going to help you go you know I tell people look in the beginning when you're dating multiple franchisors you want to know what's in it for you and what's in it for you is the money so we're just going to pull the money out of that FDD first and we're going to play with the money of the investment and the ROI because if that doesn't make sense you're not going to want to go any further why do you need to know how you're going to sell your business which is part of the FDD if the numbers don't make sense for you right to even want to invest in it. So that's what I do I help save people time and focus them on what's important, I'm going to teach you when it's time to go interview those franchise owners what are the questions what should I be asking we talk about the psychology of interviewing business owners because it's really important that as you're meeting people who own a business that you don't create a limiting belief for yourself about what's possible based on the people that you're meeting in the franchise right. I want to teach you again how to figure out how to drive that gas pedal to your own level of performance. It's something Buck that I did in my business here at Franchoice, I was an average performing inconsistent performing consultant for many years for the first eight years and then I decided to get serious in my business and really maximize what I could control and one year later I had built the largest franchise consulting business ever that had ever been built and so then I didn't want to be a one-hit wonder so then I really had to examine my numbers and figure out the science of what I was really doing to drive that result and then once I did that and repeated it for a couple of years a couple of other very smart consultants came to me and were like hey let me do what you do I gave them my science and now one of them goes on and doubles what I do right and now I also share this science Buck: So this is your, you came up with this franchise? This is your franchise? Kim: No I just jacked the level of performance in my business Buck: So you’re like a super Mcdonald's Kim: Yeah like let's say that let's say that you're validating a business and the average owner you're talking about is I'll use basic numbers just pulling out a hundred thousand. I don't want my candidates to feel like that's a limitation like I can only make a hundred thousand there should be no limit, I mean if you have a if you in some businesses there is an actual cap to how big one location can get and then that's why you'd have to build you know two and three and four and five locations, but that's what I'm explaining that just because the average person in a franchise is performing to a certain level that's not all that's possible, there's always going to be one person who can break free from the pack and produce twice as much or three times as much as everybody else and when you're validating a franchise I want my candidates to go to those people who've broken free from the pack the top 10 of the performers to find out what are they doing to drive that type of result rather than kind of settling for well okay the average performing person is doing this and so that's kind of the number I have in my head I just think that that's a that can be a very limiting belief to begin your business with. Buck: Understood. Well good. What am I missing? Am I missing anything? Is there anything that you think that we ought to know about this process that we haven't already talked to? I mean obviously there's a lot to it but as an introduction. Kim: Yeah you know one thing we haven't talked about are the tax advantages that some franchise businesses can create. So you mentioned we talked about the investor mindset and coming in more as a semi-absentee investor and I have some people that have significant cash flow from a w-2 job and they're looking for tax savings or tax shelters with the business not even necessarily cash flow in the first few years it's more to create that tax shelter and I also have businesses that fit those investors as well so you can look at franchising as replacing your w-2 job like you've been unemployed or you've been downsized or right-sized whatever and you're looking to reinvent yourself right you're 52-54 and you're like listen if I go back I may get laid off in two or three more years so maybe it's better for me to consider just reinventing myself for myself at this stage there's that guy who wants to dive in full term and full time and maybe over time become a semi-absentee owner but then there's the investors such as you mentioned like you know physicians or people that have thriving businesses that are making a lot of money but those to make that money it requires their time and attention like my business requires my time and attention so I have other passive investments that don't require Kim I'm passionate about what I do and I want to be here but you know there's some point in my life where no offense to my people but I don't always want to have to be tied to my desk in order to you know have income coming in so we all have to consider ways to build that revenue that doesn't require us to wake up and exchange our time for money right. And then so there's that investor mindset and a lot of those those investor mindset businesses also as I mentioned can come with some pretty good tax advantages for those people who again are trying to offset big income they're making in their w-2 job or other investments. Buck: Yeah I mean you know specifically I think you know we talk a lot about tax efficiency in this this program you know a lot of people are going to be interested in I think a couple of things one is you know the potential depreciation and elements of that but also to look at these opportunities as potential passive assets and start building those buckets of passive income up that we can do a lot more with so very interesting stuff. Kim how do we get a hold of you? Kim: Okay so my website is thedalycoach.com and that's my last name d-a-l-y the daily coach. I love to give people a little daily dose of Kim Daly on my website. I have videos I have testimonials I mean I cover all kinds of business coaching subjects in my video library I have testimonials where I've gone into the storefronts of people that I've helped change their life and some of the work I'm the most proud of, I love all of my people to death so I ask everybody even those people who didn't buy a franchise but they learned something through my process write me a testimonial. So you'll see hundreds of testimonials and all kinds of you know resources books and other things that you may want to check out and also the contact me form so if you are interested in starting your journey how do you know you're curious you want to learn more about franchising absolutely I'll follow right back up with you and we can begin the conversation. Buck: Fantastic again that's thedalycoach.com and Kim thank you so much this has been a fantastic interview. I think we've got a lot of information here and hopefully some of you are going to go down this road. I may take Kim up on this and go down through the process myself by the way so I'm totally curious and you know me I'm gonna you know I've got my fingers in a lot of different things. So anyway Kim thanks again. Wonderful to have you on the show. Kim: It's an honor to be here. Thank you so much. Buck: We'll be right back
2020.09.28 10:34 parth770Building a Successful Marketing Plan
Every business, small or large, will be more successful with a business plan. One key component of a business plan is the marketing plan. A good marketing plan summarizes the who, what, where, when, and how much questions of company marketing and sales activities for the planning year: · Who are our target buyers? · What sources of uniqueness or positioning in the market do we have? · Where will we implement our marketing spending plans? · When will marketing spending plans occur? · How much sales, spending, and profits will we achieve? The financial projections contained in your business plan rest in large measure upon the assumptions contained in your marketing plan. It is the marketing plan that details when expenditures will be made, what level of sales will be achieved, and how and when advertising and promotional expenditures will be made. Here are the major elements of a marketing plan: · The situation analysis describes the total marketing environment in which the company competes and the status of company products and distribution channels. · The opportunity and issue analysis details the major external opportunities and threats to the company and the internal strengths and weaknesses of the company, along with a discussion of key issues facing the company. · The goals and objectives section outlines major company goals and the marketing and financial objectives. · The marketing strategy section provides the company's marketing strategy statement, summarizing the key target buyer description, competitive market segments the company will compete in, the unique positioning of the company and its products compared to the competition, the reasons why it is unique or compelling to buyers, price strategy versus the competition, marketing spending strategy with advertising and promotion, and possible R&D and market research expenditure strategies. · The sales and marketing plan outlines each specific marketing event or action plan to increase sales. For example, it may contain a summary of quarterly promotion and advertising plans, with spending, timing, and share or shipment goals for each program.
Effective Planning Requires an Accurate Situation Analysis
The situation analysis section of a marketing plan describes what is happening in the markets in which the company competes, and analyzes the company's product and distribution trends. Information in this section provides rationale and support for the marketing objectives, plans, and strategies. Use a simple, common-sense approach to organize and provide only relevant information. Because the situation analysis covers a wide range of topics, it should be divided into subsections. These subsections should start at the "big picture" of macroenvironment influences on your business down through total market descriptions, the competition, target buyers/end users, and, finally, product trends and your company distribution channels description. Thus, the key subsections include: · Macroenvironment situation. The macroenvironment subsection presents information on trends that affect your company in the following areas: o demographic o economic o technological o political o social o cultural o material supply · market situation, which includes size, growth trends of total market, and key segments · competitive situation, which provides a description of major competitors with size, goals, market share, product quality comparisons, marketing strategies, marketing spending, etc. · target buyer or end user situation, which analyzes the identification and behavior of target buyers/end users and consumer wants and needs · product situation, which includes sales, prices, and contribution margins; net profits of each company product line are shown · distribution situation, which provides information on size, trends, and importance of each distribution channel for the company's products
Situation Analysis Begins by Examining Macroenvironment
The initial section of the situation analysis, the macroenvironment, sets the stage for the detailed analysis that will follow. Make sure that you capture only relevant information on macroenvironmental trends that might affect your business. Here are some aspects of key macroenvironmental forces that you should consider. · Demographics. How will the demographic factors of your geographic locale or your target market affect demand for your goods or services in the future? For example, as the baby boomers age, the fastest growing demographic in the US is the over-65 segment. Does this have an impact on your business? For example, a home-building contractor should begin to pay closer attention to the needs of people over 65. Another example, in some areas the number of recent immigrants from non-English speaking countries is significant. Are there new products you could add to your line to attract these customers? Would having bilingual staff help your business grow? · Economics/business conditions. No matter how depressing the economic news may be, the savvy business owner can not ignore it. Spend time getting a feel for the economic climate—not only of the nation, but of your region or city. What is relevant to your business? How does the economy affect what you will need to do to market your business and grow your revenue" · Technology. Innovation can create or wipe out industries and businesses in less than a year. The popularity and convenience of CD players all but eliminated the sale of record players and seriously depressed the manufacture and sale of vinyl records. Are there similar disruptors facing your business? Are customer expectations—social media, 24/7 online ordering—going to affect your business model? · Political and legal. Health care and handicapped legislation affects all businesses, large or small. Increasing costs and mandatory provisions for buildings, walkways, elevators, etc., significantly affect the overhead for a small business. For example, a new restaurant with a basement may have to have an elevator (e.g., $20,000 or more) for handicapped employees, despite the fact it is unlikely that physically handicapped employees will need to go down to a basement storage area. · Social and cultural. Especially if you are in the consumer goods market, you need to be aware of cultural and social trends that affect your customers (and potential customers.) For example, there is a sweeping trend for Americans (and the world) to dress more casually, with function and comfort driving new clothing and shoe trends. People are cooking less and are more concerned about nutrition and fat in their diets. And today, American business people are less willing to sacrifice family life for business careers. What does this mean for your small business?
Situation Analysis Subsections Delve Into Specific Areas
The "MarketSituation" subsection of the situation analysis provides information on the size, growth, and trends of the overall market and any relevant segments of the total market or category. Rationale should be provided for estimating the trend of the market, including key industry developments, introduction of new technology or new products, increased marketing spending by key competitors, etc. For example, a small business could include local industry sales or volume for the last five years and estimated total market for this year and the following year, with company sales and share of the market.
Outline Your Competitive Landscape and Challenges
In the "Competitive Situation" subsection of the situation analysis section you provide succinct and relevant information about key competitors: · description of key competitors and their market positioning · size of key competitors in units/dollars · market shares of key competitors · sales trends of key competitors · strengths and weaknesses of key competitors compared to your company's product or services · perceived marketing strategies of key competitors and their probable impact on your company
Describe Your Target Buyer or End User
You provide actionable information on your target buyers, as well as information on the ultimate end users if necessary, in the "Target Buyer" subsection of the your situation analysis. Key questions answered in this subsection include: · description of target buyers or end users in demographic, psychographic, and lifestyle terms · target buyeend user wants, needs, attitudes, and perceptions of category products and services · where target buyers/end users are located and how to reach them · which segments of the total market or category are growing or declining and why
Capture Key Metrics About Your Business and Products
The "Product Situation" subsection of your situation analysis section provides company information on: · sales · profit · product trends · cost-of-goods history (five years) · marketing spending history (five years of advertising, promotion, PR spending) · distribution trends and developments · description of the sales organization (for example, company or brokers)
Detail Distribution Channels and Costs
The "Distribution" subsection of the situation analysis section describes each distribution channel and its relative importance to the company in terms of: · percent of company sales · company volume · cost to distribute products and services · growth potential · competitive status
The "Opportunity and Issue Analysis" section of your marketing plan analyzes the major external opportunities and threats to the company and the internal strengths and weaknesses of the company, along with a discussion of key issues facing the company. · External opportunities and threats to the company should be described with possible programs to capitalize on the opportunities, and possible solutions to potential threats to the company. · Internal strengths and weaknesses of the company should be described in a competitive context. · Key issues addresses decisions to be made by the company, based upon the analysis of these external opportunities and threats and internal company strengths and weaknesses, and helps to determine objectives, strategies, and tactics. External opportunities may be seen in an analysis of the macro environment the company operates in. Other factors affecting your company may come from the market situation or the competitive situation that your company faces.
Marketing Goals and Objectives Are The Heart of Your Plan
The "Marketing Goals and Objectives" section of your marketing plan outlines major company goals, marketing, and financial objectives. All objectives should be carefully quantified, where possible, especially in terms of an achievable time or date. Objectives should be reasonable and attainable. Major company goals could include both short- and long-term goals. For example: · company definition (e.g., "to be a manufacturer of 100 percent all-natural snack food products") · market definition (e.g., "to attain leadership in dollar market share and volume for the healthy, all-natural snacks segment of the salty snacks category") · technology (e.g., "to become known in the industry as the leading developer of new vegetable protein products") Financial objectives are generally described in quantitative terms for at least three years in the future: · gross sales (increase) · cost-of-goods (decrease) · gross margin (increase) · net income (increase) · return on investment · return on income Businesses seeking outside funding and capital should provide a minimum of five years of projected income statements, although these are usually located in the financial section of the business plan rather than the marketing section. Marketing objectives are quantitative translations of the company's financial objectives, in marketing terms. For example: · sales dollars · sales units · market share · distribution levels/channel · advertising awareness · key account distribution
Well-Articulated Marketing Strategy Focuses Valuable Time, Resources
Every business owner should develop a written guideline that sets forth the business's marketing strategy. This document is used to judge the appropriateness of each action that the business takes. If a company has to take an action that is off-strategy, it may indicate a temporary emergency action prompted by competition or other factors beyond normal management control. Or it may indicate the need to change or revise the company's marketing strategy. A good marketing strategy provides specific goals and can include: · a description of the key target buyeend user · competitive market segments the company will compete in · distribution channels · the unique positioning of the company and its products versus the competition · the reasons why it is unique or compelling to buyers · price strategy versus competition · marketing spending strategy with advertising and promotion · possible research and development · market research expenditure strategies. An overall company marketing strategy should also: · define the business · position the business as a leader, challenger, follower, or niche player in the category · define the brand or business personality or image that is desired in the minds of buyers and end users · define life cycle influences, if applicable Use the following checklist to help create your own marketing strategy. Marketing Strategy Checklist · define what your company is · identify the products or services that your company provides · identify your target buyers/end users · establish the marketing category (e.g., fast food purveyor, high-end audio equipment sales, etc.) · determine whether your company will be a market category leader, follower, challenger, or niche player · describe the unique characteristics of your products or services that distinguish them from the competition. · define whether your pricing will be above, below, or at parity with your competitors and establish whether you will lead, follow, or ignore changes in competitors' pricing · identify the distribution channels through which your products/services will be made available to the target market/end users · describe how advertising and promotions will convey the unique characteristics of your products or services · describe any research and development activities or market research plans that are unique to your business · describe the image or personality of your company and its products or services
Test Drive Your Strategy Statements
If the statements in your strategy are measurable and actionable and work to differentiate your company and products apart from the competition, congratulations! If they are not measurable and actionable and do not differentiate your company from the competition, revise them until they are. A good working marketing strategy should not be changed every year. It should not be revised until company objectives (financial, marketing, and overall company goals) have been achieved or the competitive situation has changed significantly, e.g., a new competitor comes into the category or significantly different or new products emerge from existing competitors.
This section of the marketing plan outlines each marketing event or action planned to increase sales. The plan will generally cover a calendar year, broken down by month or by quarter. For example, it may contain a summary of quarterly promotion and advertising plans, with spending, timing, and share/shipment goals for each program. Sales and marketing plans should be a logical outgrowth of short- and long-term company objectives and your marketing strategy. In the business plan, the sales and marketing plans provide an outline of each marketing event for the year, covering the following information: · description of each event vehicle (for example, media, promotion, trade, sales) · timing of each event · event goals and objectives (for example, volume, share gains) · cost of each event About Us:- Delivering Outstanding Returns Through Field sales, Data Insight And Brand Engagement. Your Brand, Our Passion Everywhere, Every Day, We Are local marketing and sales agency.” Contact Us:- Get in touch with us, we would love to discuss your marketing needs.We love a good coffee and a challenge, so would be happy to meet up with you face to face.
2020.09.28 09:40 bandregistrationLost Renewal Notice and Expired Tags
DMV mails for the renewals of vehicle registration approximately 60 days prior to the running or current vehicle registration expiration. Infect, Most of the states have auto-renewal services. It depends on you how and when you want to pay the renewal fees. Depending on Smog checks, state, and VIN Inspection, the auto maintenance needs to be performed to meet the registration requirements. It would be best to visit your local DMV, DOR ( department of revenue), or the motor vehicle department to fulfill the requirements. Late registrations also increase the cost of registration, and it can also lead to penalties. Online renewing
You can easily renew your registration online up to 90 days before the expiry date. But if you have received a citation, you cannot restore it online.
It will take two working days to process your payment.
You will receive a sticker via mail within three weeks.
📷 Renewal by mail You need to send the following to the country tax office to renew your registration by mail-
Notice of your renewal
Copy of VIR (vehicle inspection report)
Proof of your current vehicle insurance
Proof of payment of all the fees which are listed on your vehicle renewal notice.
Renewal in person If you want to register your vehicle title in person, then you need to visit your countries tax office or to the approved substation, where you will need to have
Proof of liability insurance
If you don’t have registration notice, you can renew it by –
Licensed plate number
VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)
What will happen if I have no tags or expiry tags? You can easily get pulled over for driving with no tags. Whereas going with an expiry tag is a non-moving violation. If there is no registration tag attached to your license plate, you can even get a ticket. Tags should be properly and displayed. The things which can happen if you don’t have proper tag are-
You can get fined
You can get ticked repeatedly for having no tags
You can even get a ticket, even if you are parked legally
Other consequences depend on the citation or the officer.
How to get a vehicle title? Vehicle Registration services and Band C registration can help you. Band C registration is one of the third party DMV services, which is licensed, contracted, and bonded with DMV to provide vehicle title service. The renewal process will be processed in real-time, and you will be issued with a new registration tag and card. B & C Registration 10 Enterprise Dr Suite A, Rohnert Park, CA 94928 707-206-0579
2020.09.28 08:26 milap-sdGuide to Setup Successful Fashion Store in Shopify :)
2020.09.28 08:02 josephtrautnerSEO Strategy Fundamentals for Beginners
So you've just acquired a spanking new domain name always try for the domain name that catches your Audience's attention. You research a lot of top keywords and keyword phrases and decide that you are going to position yourself as a brand. Your research shows that it is a hot topic and online searchers are searching for your product or service. OK, so you position yourself as a brand online. Next, you produce a few hundred or thousand of quality content posts that you slick it up with beautiful graphics and/or layout that grabs their attention. You start blogging and PR'ing ( rewriting your own articles over and over )to draw in some attention. You drop a few links on the site or distribute a couple of your own. Finally, you arm yourself with a couple of well-written articles that you post over at article directories and ezines with a link that clips right into your business site. You wait... and wait... and wait. Longterm SEO strategy Now you find yourself being mentioned in the search engines...not too much but you are getting the tastes coming down your sleeve. It's time to boost your SEO strategy. Remember the dog that had the retrieve and stood tall beside you when are you retrieving? Well, when you have your website online you need to have "the first element reading" as your foundation. What does "on-site optimization" mean? Put simply, on-site optimization is what you do to your own website to make it pleasing to the search engines. The way search engines view your website is through their search spiders ( also known as crawlers or robots as people call them) that list and report back any interesting items they come across on your website. Now I am not talking about common sense keyword optimization or common web design issues, I am talking about some additional things that collectively result in a better overall search engine view of your website when being optimized for search. You will find many "onsite" items on a well-designed website that enhance search engine visibility and ranking of your website when being optimized for search. Here are just a few to get you started:
Research what your target keywords and phrases are. Remember it is better to have a website designed for your visitors than a website designed for the search engines, no matter how smart your visitors may seem to be. There are several programs to help you learn about the most popular keywords being used by visitors today, and you can be list in these programs and identify the keywords that will help your business and website recognition.
Having the knowledge of the keywords and phrases being used by your visitors today, you will need to refresh and organize your website to get your website up to date and into the database of search engines. Search engines have what are called "spiders", or computer programs that crawl your website to see what is there. The spiders take a snapshot of your website at any given time. This includes the titles of your pages, any titles or headers on your pages, and anything else that is visible. It even includes the navigation menu on your website. This all has to be analyzed and set up properly, or it will not do you any good.
Now that you have identified what your search engine optimization strategy is going to be, you will need to identify if you are going to use "White Hat" or "Black Hat" SEO. White Hat SEO is the practice of creating content for your visitors, which is friendly to search engines. By unfavorable practices, you could find your website blacklisted by search engines. Again, any unfavorable practices will result in your website being cut off from search engines.
Black Hat SEO is the opposite of White Hat. The spiders and bots are constantly looking for ways to beat the system, and some people choose to overdo it. The result is that your website could be banned from search engines entirely. If you decide to take this route, be sure you are taking the correct steps to drive traffic to your website.
Depending on the scope of your website and the products or services you are providing, you may need to use the services provided by an SEO company. If your website is a small business, you will probably be able to handle all of your SEO needs on your own with the help of the professionals. However, if you are a large business with many departments that require a lot of publicity, time, and effort to keep up with the latest standards and to keep ahead of your competition, you may want to seriously consider hiring an SEO specialist.
2020.09.28 06:09 AutoModeratorDAILY COVID-19 MEGATHREAD - September 28, 2020
All Coronavirus (COVID-19) links, discussions and related pics belong in this thread. For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 in NYC, please visit: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home Questions? Call the COVID-19 Hotline: 1-888-364-3065 or Ask a Question here If you are witnessing price gouging on items like cleaning supplies, toilet paper or soap, please call the New York State Department of Consumer Protection. They have launched a toll-free hotline 1-800-697-1220 and will investigate reports of unfair price increases amid the novel coronavirus outbreak. You can also file a complaint online at https://www.dos.ny.gov/consumerprotection/form/ComplaintForm1.asp To report a scam or other consumer problem related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), please click here. Essential services that are allowed to remain open: Click here For more information about COVID-19 and country-specific travel restrictions, please visit the CDC website. The New York Blood Center Enterprises (NYBCe) strongly urges individuals who feel healthy and well to make an appointment at a donor center or blood drive to give blood, platelets and plasma. Walk-ins are also welcome. For more information, visit: https://nybloodcenter.org/donate-blood/covid-19-and-blood-donation-copy/ If you have a suggestion on how to improve this Daily Megathread, please send the team a message. To see COVID-19 Megathread Discussions from previous days, please click here.
2020.09.28 05:25 paavoharjuNew rights guide to protect unemployed workers
Information for people in the employment services system
From 28 September people in the jobactive, DES and ParentsNEXT programs should use the below information and linked resources to protect themselves from harmful job agency behaviour and prevent their payment being unfairly cut off.
What can I refuse to do?
If you live outside Victoria, penalties have returned for most mutual obligations activities, however there are still some things you don’t have to do. You can’t be penalised for refusing to attend activities in person. Your job agency must make all appointments, Annual Activity Requirements and other activities they organise available online or over the phone. You can’t be penalised for refusing to do Work for the Dole, however your job agency may provide an alternative activity that you have to do if it can be completed online. If you are in Victoria, or if you are a sole trader, you can still refuse all activities. You do not need to sign a job plan, answer job agency calls and emails, do job searches, attend training or volunteering, accept a job offer or do any other activities.
What can I be forced to do?
If you receive any income you must still report it to Centrelink, no matter where you live. Note: the below requirements do not apply in Victoria – a full suspension remains in place and you can refuse all contact. If you live outside Victoria and you’re in the jobactive or DES program you have to:
complete 8 job applications per month;
attend appointments online or over the phone with your provider (face-to-face is optional);
attend training online or over the phone (face-to-face is optional);
You will be subject to demerits if you fail to complete these activities and you don’t have a valid reason. Your job agency will apply these demerits without any involvement from Centrelink. Your payment can be cancelled, but only by Centrelink, if you refuse to:
2020.09.28 03:14 Pretty_iin_PinkNSW reports no new cases! 🍩
New cases reported in the last 24 hours
🍩 🍩 DOUBLE DONUT TIME! 🍩 🍩
Two days in a row, NSW reports no new cases of COVID-19. Note:
1.Wedding restrictions have eased to allow up to 20 members of the wedding party on the dancefloor. 2. Byron Bay has a new pop-up testing clinic. Book online. 3. Stay COVID safe when taking taxis or rideshare services. 4. RE case with unknown source from the 25/09: Investigations and contact tracing are continuing. 5. Passengers for 5 of the 9 Silver Service taxi trips are now confirmed. However, NSW Health is still seeking to identify passengers who took trips at following times and locations:
Last updated 11:05 AM [28/09] The name of each cluster links to a wiki page where the initial cases associated with the cluster are detailed, as well as information concerning the original source of each cluster.
2020.09.28 03:11 Xbox_Live_UserBeginner's Guide to XSX/XSS, Game Pass, Storage, and More!
Welcome to the Xbox family! The next generation of consoles is coming, as are tons of questions. This post provides guides and resources that cover the basics of the current state of Xbox. If you're new to Xbox, read Xbox Live/EA Play/Game Pass first. Before you proceed, please check the FAQ tab or Info tab from XboxSeriesX for more information, guides, and helpful links.
Xbox Live/EA Play/Game Pass
Xbox Live Gold (XBL) (US $9.99 monthly): Allows online multiplayer. Free games every month through Games with Gold. Click here to join Xbox
EA Play (US $4.99 monthly): Library of older games published by EA. New games are added 6-9 months after release.
Game Pass for PC/Game Pass for Console) (US $9.99 monthly): Game subscription service providing access to over 200 Microsoft and third-party games. First-party MS games stay forever while third-party titles are timed. Game Pass for PC includes EA Play as of Holiday 2020 (Game Pass for console does NOT include EA play!)* (corrected)
xCloud - Cloud game streaming service for mobile access to select Game Pass titles. Still in Beta and not available as a standalone product.
Game Pass Ultimate (GPU) (US $14.99 monthly): Includes Xbox Live Gold, EA Play, Game Pass for PC, Game Pass for Console, and xCloud in one package.
Game Pass Ultimate And XBL Conversion For $1
Microsoft currently allows you to convert Xbox Live Gold time and Game Pass for PC or Console time to Game Pass Ultimate time at a 1:1 ratio for either $1 or $14.99, based on your eligibility and up to a maximum of 36 months (three years). The estimated savings for the full three years if you buy XBL at retail price is at least US $359* (corrected). A loophole in this policy allows you to buy up to three years of XBL, redeem it to your Microsoft account, and convert it to GPU. While you don't have to get three years, you save the most money this way.
When will this promotion end? No date confirmed
Can I do this if I have before? Yes
Can I do this if I currently have a GPU subscription active? No, adding XBL to your account converts at a 3/1 ratio
Can I do this if I currently have a Game Pass for PC or Console subscription active? Yes
Can I do this without an Xbox? Yes
Can I buy XBL from a different region where it's cheaper? Yes, but you must use a VPN and you may experience region issues with the code redemptions
Can I do this if I am no longer eligible for the $1 promotion price? Yes, but you must make a one-time US $14.99 payment instead of $1
Note: If the total time (XBL + Game Pass time) in your account is more than 36 months, use a PC to activate the promotion. Any time over the 36 month maximum will disappear.
On your Microsoft Account, turn off any existing recurring billing for Game Pass or XBL.
Purchase three 12-month Xbox Live Gold cards for your region from a retailer like Amazon, Microsoft, Costco, CDKeys, or others. Note: CDKeys is a "gray market" site that sells these cards at steep discounts. They're easy to use and reliable.
Visit redeem.microsoft.com and redeem each XBL key. For each key, turn off the recurring billing toggle before you click Submit.
Check that you have at least 36 months of time on your account (XBL time + Game Pass time).
Follow the prompts and provide your payment information when asked.
You should see that all your Game Pass and XBL time now says upgraded to Game Pass Ultimate in your Microsoft account.
The new Xbox consoles support all Xbox One titles as well as any Xbox/Xbox 360 titles that are already supported on Xbox One. You may experience improvements to load times, framerate, and resolution. Kinect and headsets with optical sound connectors are not currently supported.
The new Xbox consoles have a storage expansion slot. Currently the only supported storage for this slot is the Seagate Expansion Card. You can install games here and play them directly from the card. While pricey, cheaper third-party alternatives are inevitable down the road. You can also use an external USB HDD or SSD to store Series X or S games that you aren't playing. You can't play these directly from the drives and need to transfer them back to supported storage. You can use an external drive to play non-enhanced backwards-compatible games from the Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Xbox. For a quick reference, see this diagram (courtesy u/beateride) and Xbox Expansion Explained for more detailed information.
Xbox All Access
https://www.xbox.com/en-US/xbox-all-access Xbox All Access is a monthly payment option which gives you a console and two years of GPU. The Xbox Series S is $24.99 a month and the Xbox Series X is $34.99, in the U.S. All Access involves opening a line of credit with a local credit issuer through the Microsoft-authorized service provider in your area. This means a credit check that usually impacts your credit score. To see if All Access is available in your region, see the supported regions list.
There is no confirmation on if Xbox will make Bethesda games exclusive. Phil Spencer said it will be on a "case-by-case basis" for console exclusivity. All Bethesda games are set to be added and launched on Game Pass.
2020.09.27 23:09 Cadrej-AndrejWindows Update Service missing from Registry; deletes automatically on restart
So recently I was looking into making sure my computer was up to date. (some background) I bought it from my friend and did the complete Windows reset. However, recently, I realized my computer is only on Windows version 1803 from 2018, and I wanted to update it. However, when I looked to try and update, it would just tell me this message with the error code:
There were some problems installing updates, but we'll try again later. If you keep seeing this and want to search the web or contact support for information, this may help: (0x80070424)
Below it is this message:
Your version of Windows has reached end of service. We recommend you update to the most recent version of Windows 10 to get the latest features and security improvements.
So I went online to see how other people dealt with that error code, and I've done almost everything that has been recommended. I found out that the issue seems to be due to a missing "wuauserv" (Windows Update Service) folder in the Registry. I've ran sfc /scannow and the DISM command in administrative cmd, and also have tried to reinstall the wuauserv folder through various fixes found online, however everytime I restart, wuauserv is suspiciously missing from my registry editor. I've also ran malwarebytes, which found no problems at all. I've ran out of ideas of what to do, so I'm coming here for help. Thank you for any help you can give me.
2020.09.27 22:17 AngrySquirrel9An overall Good Experience, Just Set Your Expectations Right
Searching for a car We knew we wanted a Honda Odyessy so I started browsing in May without much seriousness. The prices seemed to be better than my local dealers and there was a better selection, but I did notice things didn’t seem to last long. When we got more serious, we would see a van we liked, think on it and it would be reserved the next day. Finally we got on the ball and saw one we liked, put down the $100 to reserve photos . Then we saw one we liked better come available again about an hour later so we started the buying process right off on that one. Purchase Once you start the purchase you have a clock ticking (45 minutes I think is what it is) to supply all the information and documents. We are self employed so I needed 3 months of bank statements. This was the trickiest part. I was low on time and it was a Saturday outside of the hours and I couldn’t ask fir more time. I had trouble figuring out how to download the right documents with our local small town bank online system. But I got it in the nick of time. So anyone who might need the same documents might want to prepare those before beginning. I noticed we had a $600 delivery fee which I thought we wouldn’t as our town was listed as a town they service. Signing documents 100 times. On Sunday an advocate contacted us saying we were close to their market area and if we met within 100 miles of one of their stores there would be no shipping charge. On Monday we 3-way called with the bank and got all that approved with the down payment. Signed the documents again after that went through. Then the advocate called back to set up a time and location for delivery. Signed documents again since they took off $600. We purchased on a Saturday and initially scheduled delivery for 2 Monday’s after that. I tried to chat with them to add the referral discount after reading about it here throughout that week or call but I never se embed to hit them at the right time. As a mother of 4 I avoid phone calls as much as possible. The kids go insane if I have to make one. So I was trying in the evenings and trying to chat during the day. The chat would just not go anywhere when I requested an advocate. Finally the sat before delivery I had the chance to sit down more seriously to add it. I was able to use chat but she warned me I may lose my appointment time for delivery. I did and I got that Thursday instead fir delivery. It was disappointing, but whatever. Got the discount and resigned the documents. The day of delivery it said I needed to sign them again, but it must have been a computer glitch. When I tried to sign I couldn’t get the browser to open the link. Delivery We met the driver about 20 minutes from our home. Initially we were to meet at a bank but when we got there we saw how small the lot was and called the driver to change to the gas station next door. The driver pulled up, unloaded the van and cleaned it all out. Was wearing safety gear. All was very nice and cautious. The driver was also the nicest guy in the world. My husband took it for a drive and the driver chatted with me (from a safe distance). He has an odyssey too and was talking about how great they are for a family and such. Trouble with the Vehicle We noticed right away there was a shudder to the vehicle when breaking. This was immediate. There was no way someone had inspected this car and not noticed it. This is extremely disappointing. Honestly I was hoping since Honda’s are such reliable cars we wouldn’t see any trouble like others had described in their reviews. I was wrong. We chose to seek repairs through SilverRock over not accepting or returning the vehicle. We had it inspected and it was bad rotors. SilverRock directed us to take it to Midas and they replaced it in a couple hours and all the financial stuff was taken care of between Midas and SilverRock. Plates Like many others, our plates were delayed. We bought the car at the end of July. Delivery was the 28th. It took us a few days to submit the paperwork since it needed a notary. The papers were submitted to their “3rd party dealer” on Aug 8th. Our temp tags expired Sept 1. I looked up our States BMV and they had a notice that they extended expired plates through June 30th and after that time they expected everyone to be up to date. I called Carvana. Wait time was only 20 minutes and spoke with a guy there. Super nice and super helpful. He called to check on the expected date of completion which was Sept 14th. They weren’t able to issue another temp tag according to him in our State so he promised to call the BMV the next morning and find out specifics on how to get one ourselves promising me we could have the expense reimbursed. I didn’t hear back the next morning, but one more day later we received a new temp tag in the mail. No note or any explanation, so seems he figured out how to reissue one. We received our plates on Sept 24th. So it’s all good to go now Mystery! The only other thing of note is we received a random delivery of a set of heavy duty rubber car mats. Our van wasn’t missing the mats and there was no note or anything with the package. So I’ll never know why they were sent. The mats were in the trunk, so maybe the delivery guy didn’t see them and got them sent. Who knows! Conclusion If you know you’re going to get a vehicle from Carvana go ahead and create an account and add the referral code in advance. This will save trying to do it after and having to sign the documents so much. Also, perhaps you can find a location 100 miles from Carvana in advance too so you know where to meet and pick up the vehicle. You can enter it as the delivery address during purchase. Overall I would go with Carvana again. I think the inspection issue is pretty shady. Either they aren’t doing them at all or they just don’t care and are ignoring issues they find. But if you are prepared to deal with it, at least you can have the issues corrected with a small effort on your part. To me the not dealing with a dealership is worth it. I emailed one dealer who gave me a bunch of Bs as to why I had to go see the vehicle to get a price on it. I also suddenly got junk mail with way too much information about me in them. Like they knew I had a car loan with about $2500 left. They were offering to pay off my currently loan if I bought a car through them (I had actually payed it off already, no idea how they get this information). If another online only car dealer pops up, I’d likely buy from them over Carvana next time because of the inspection issue. But otherwise I’m happy how things went with them. I never put my new temp tag on, just had them in the car in case we were stopped. We never were. $500 referral I have codes for anyone who may want them! I’d love to share some!! Message me.
2020.09.27 21:24 zestybestieLooking for an English-speaking priest in São Paulo
Oi, tudo bem? My fiancé (31M) is a Brazilian living in SP and I'm (27F) Canadian living in Vancouver. We got engaged last October and were supposed to get married next month, but due to covid obviously had to postpone (still haven't decided on the new date). I was raised in a Catholic household, and so my parents request that I have a Catholic wedding even though my fiancé is not religious. He is okay with it, but we have been having trouble getting information on the process. He went to visit a local Catholic church in his neighbourhood (Paulista) and also a church in the city of the wedding venue (Cotia), but they gave very different suggestions. It doesn't help that he doesn't really understand the process but still has to translate everything to me. For that reason we've still gotten nowhere in our wedding planning hahaha. I'm thinking that maybe he could talk to an English-speaking priest located in SP for advice so that communication between the three of us go smoothly. Basically we want to ask:
Because of the pandemic, we can't travel to visit each other. Would it be possible to take the marriage prep class (curso de noivos) online? We see many services offering curso de noivos online and it would be the most efficient for us compared to taking the course in Brazil together and my fiancé needing to translate for me.
Since my fiancé doesn't belong to any church, could we pick a church anywhere in SP and get married there?
It would be great if anyone knows a thing or two about this topic. We are getting anxious and really need some help. Obrigada!
2020.09.27 20:28 lemursandlettuceMy mom [F54] has had three family members recently pass away. I [F18] am at college right now, but I promised I'd visit her since she has been having a hard time. Now, I feel like it isn't safe to due to coronavirus and I have no idea what to do.
TL;DR: My mom has had 3 family members recently pass away, not due to COVID. Three weeks ago I went off to college and haven't exactly been in a quarantine-like situation. She made me promise to visit her since she needs the support right now, but now I am worried that it wouldn't be safe to. What should I do, and if I should stay, how should I tell her? Longer version: Three weeks ago I moved out of the house to attend college. Though classes are technically being held remotely, I got a private scholarship that is dependent on me doing a certain amount of community hours per term in the same city as the college. I had contacted the scholarship-creators about doing the hours in my home-town and they basically said no. So, if I wanted to go to college this term, I had to move out. My mom has been having an incredibly hard time with the epidemic. Her mother recently passed away as well as her aunt and my cousin (all not due to the coronavirus). It has been a very tough pass few months. Basically, before I went, she made me promise her that I would visit in October, at least for a few days. Since she has been having such a hard time dealing with the loss, and since at the time I thought it wouldn't be too hard to visit, I agreed. Now I'm having second thoughts about how wise it would really be as I am extremely concerned about accidentally getting both my parents sick. I take coronavirus very seriously and would never be able to forgive myself if I got my parents sick and something happened to them. I have some concerns that I may have COVID and just not know it since I'm the age for being a vector for it without knowing. My roommates are pretty good about wearing masks when going out, but I know one has already gone on a few socially distant but maskless first dates, and that one doesn't really limit her trips out to get coffee, smoothies, clothes, etc. I haven't harked on them about it since I haven't known them for long and I don't want to be 'that' roommate. Also, on Wednesday, a friend is apparently coming over for a sleepover. Additionally, the community service I have been doing is not as safe as I thought it would be. For example, I had to attend a lunch meeting for it yesterday and it wasn't exactly perfect in its precautions. It was six of us outside eating without masks, with only about 3 or so feet between me and the people to my sides. During actual community service times, everyone has worn masks and we were outside, but we all are generally much closer to each other than six feet. I know I should leave when this happens or speak up, but I really can't risk this scholarship. Plus, to get to my hometown, I would need to take an 18 hour train ride. Now the train does get fresh air, and it only at 20% capacity with no middle seats and with mandatory masks, but this is something to consider as well. Also, worst of all, I feel like my lungs have felt odd for the last two weeks. Now, I have really bad anxiety that has flared up due to the move, and until about a week ago my area had extremely terrible air quality due to awful fires, so there is a very good chance that the tightness I feel in my throat/chest is due to those things. I noticed the tightness did start happening right when the fires did, but it hasn't gone away. Otherwise, I feel great and I don't have a cough or fever. But, I can't brush these things off either. Now, if anyone else had told me all of these things, I wouldn't hesitate in telling them not to visit their parents. But my mom is in such a dark place right now and I feel like just visiting for a week would help so much. With how my volunteering works out, I could start my visit this Thursday while taking my classes online still, and then be back in time for my next stretch of community service hours. If I wait, the next time I could visit is around the end of November. I have a really close relationship with my mom and dad. I'm an only child who was really bullied in high school, and they always went out of their way to listen thoughtfully about my problems and cheer me up. They are both genuinely wonderful people and I couldn't ask for better parents. I feel like I really need to be there for both of them, and especially my mom during these times, and I know just being around them for a few days would help so much. And everyday I call them, and everyday my mom asks me if I'm still coming, reminds me of my promise, and then her mood just gets so much brighter when I say yes. I spoke with her last night about the COVID risks and she said that though she understood my concerns, she really needed to see me. I don't think she'd ever hurt herself or anything, but if there is someway to lessen her pain, I feel like I should. I also feel really bad about the idea of going back on a promise. What should I do? If I shouldn't go, how I do I tell my mom without breaking her heart even more?
2020.09.27 18:58 EpicVioletArrowsA new plan for help
From: Gina Gurney [email protected] Date: Tue, Sep 8, 2020 at 11:07 AM Subject: Re: Money sent To: Mark Lavorato [email protected] Ok. I couldn’t reach the bank yesterday as it was a stat holiday. But I’ve just sent another now. MTCN 4628533672 Hope this one works. Love G _____ From: Mark Lavorato [email protected] Date: 27 September 2020 Subject: A new plan for help To: Joe Lavorato [email protected], Auntie Barb [email protected], Curt & Tammy Saunders [email protected], Chiara Gurney [email protected], [email protected], Peter Lavorato [email protected], Gina Gurney [email protected], Mark Lavorato [email protected], Mark Lavorato [email protected], Corrigan Gurney [email protected] A note to my extended family: Please ensure that the email below is forwarded to: Joe & Lorna Lavorato; Gina & Raymond Huppee; Corrigan & Chiara Gurney; Peter & Laurie Lavorato; Michael & Lucas Lavorato; Doug & Barbara Saunders; Curtis & Tammy Saunders; Jill & Greg Walkie; Lou & Judy Lavorato; David & Joey Lavorato; Piero & Leila Lavorato; and Aaron & Logan Lavorato; In case I should die before any of you help me, I will publish this letter, along with other correspondences that you have received from me, online, to be seen by the world, at: bit.ly/JournalistsIHaveContactedWithThisClaim. This letter (bit.ly/ANewPlanForHelp) has also been shared across the following seven social-media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit, Tumblr, and LiveJournal, at:
Dear Gina, Thank you so much, again, for cancelling that inexplicably glitchy Western Union transfer, and then resending me another one in its place. It was, let me tell you, an extremely stressful, as well as physically painful, saga on my end. I was surprised to learn that, both the Western Union app, as well as your online banking services, would not function on statutory holidays in Canada. I had never heard of that before. Anyway, as we established earlier, unless someone in the family is willing to pay for a $10,000 plane ticket that might leave Río Gallegos at some point in the next six months, I am going to have to remain in Patagonia until the end of the pandemic. But the good news is, I can survive on very little. And so, I’m writing you today with a proposal, a proposal for a new plan going forward. As I laid out in our previous correspondence (bit.ly/PleaseCompelGinaHuppeeToKeepHerWord) you still owe me $3,400 of restitution. But, again, I’m going to offer you the benefit of the doubt here, and I will assume that the $500 that you sent me at the beginning of this month, was from you, and not from Ma and Papá. That would mean that, now, you only owe me $2,900 in restitution. So, this is my proposal: I propose that you send me $500, on the first of every month, for the next five months (October 2020 to February 2021), and then $400 on the first of the sixth month (March 2021). Together, that would total $2,900, the remaining amount of restitution that you still owe me. And, again, I want to assure you that, at the very moment that I have the full restitution in my hands (on 1 March 2021), everything between us will be in harmony and balance going forward; amends made, debts paid, order restored. To me, the beautiful thing about this plan, is that everyone benefits. Ma, who must be in a state of extreme duress knowing that her only born son is slowly starving to death, can rest assured that I have food in my belly until the end of the pandemic. Papá can be comforted by the fact that I have shelter and clothing enough to survive the elements near the Antarctic. While our extended family can be free of the guilt of these frequent emails, which are constantly begging them for their mercy, of which they have none. Again, I am offering you the benefit of the doubt here, Gina. If you choose to illegally withhold the tiny amount of restitution, which you agreed to compensate me with (bit.ly/1289-AVerbalContractFor5000DollarsRestitutionFromGinaHuppee), well, then you have the power to starve your own brother to death. Meaning, this is an opportunity for you to prove that, if given the choice, you would choose not to take my life. And, all you have to do to prove that, is to keep your own legally binding word. Now, admittedly, this will only be enough money to, barely, keep me alive until the end of the pandemic — I mean, who of you could survive on $500 a month — but, by then, I will either have found sanctuary, received funds from my soon-to-be-up-and-running GoFundMe campaign, or have found some other way to make ends meet. This gives us all time to breathe, subsist, and take stock. So, I hope you will get on board this new plan, Gina. I hope that our extended family will, again, contact you, and urge you to be reasonable here. And so I hope to see the first installment of $500 as a Western Union money transfer, in my inbox, some time soon. I love you very much. Mark
We've been using Printify for a project for a few months now. Our specific build uses the WooCommerce integration for automation. Forgiving some issues due to the pandemic, here is our wishlist for 8 future products/features from Printify and their printing partners.
Progress Indicator Integration with WordPress - Printify offers a really nice progress indicator for us in the dashboard stating where a specific product/order is at. Integrating this into the WooCommerce My Account section would be absolutely amazing. Customers LOVE progress indicators and they've even served as marketing differentiators for companies like Dominos in the past. This would elevate the perceived value of shops using Printify to a whole different level.
Shipped Product Preview in Order Dashboard - The absolute biggest complaint is that products from printing partners get shipped tilted, misaligned, too wide, in low quality, or even blank. We actually purchase our own products as if we are customers and 35% so far have had some sort of issue ranging from critically bad to almost unnoticeable. Quality control is nearly impossible for a shop using Printify because it is decentralized and on-demand printing, meaning the brand has zero control over the entire process. While this offers amazing efficiencies and has positive environmental impacts with reduced waste and carbon footprints - it makes for a very horrible customer experience should that product arrive looking poor. Printify could give us a tool to head this off by having partners take a photo of the product before packaging and shipping. While this would add time and inevitably delay the shipping, it would offer a small window to stop poor quality products from shipping. If the product ships it would give the brand the ability to head off the customer service disaster by requesting a reprint and notifying the customer. This would shift the responsibility from Printify the platform to the brand for Quality Control. Depending on how Printify works with their partners, this integration might not be very easy to pull off, but in my opinion would be invaluable to a growing brand.
Private Label Shipping - Offering a way to place paper / gloss inserts or stickers in with products, or branded packaging by AOP printing on materials, stickers, or another solution would be next level. This has been done in spaces like skin care and beauty, but there is an issue with many current implementations with getting the packaging right and making it look nice. If I had to guess I would say Printify has at least discussed this as a future option.
More Information on Print Providers - When we add a product to our shop, Printify users are essentially committing to one printing partner. This is a big step which Printify seeks to make easier with their Print Provider Ranking. In my personal opinion, at least during the pandemic, this score hasn't really been indicative of quality. Every provider we've used so far has shipped at least one low quality product of a level that would damage our reputation to the end customer, and those are what WE have received while purchasing from our own store. I would like to see data such as the machine used for printing shirts (i.e. OvalJet, Kornit, etc...), and how many recent / percentage of products in a recent time frame have been returned for quality issues. These two combined with the PPR score and other currently available data would help us pick the best partner and place pressure on the low quality printers to improve their track record of shipping quality print merchandise.
Easier Switching Between Providers - Order routing has been incredibly helpful, thanks for adding in that feature team! That being said since day 1 I've personally found it odd that before making a product I have to first select a provider. As an online merchandise veteran (started in 2003), selecting a printing partner has always been the hardest part of the entire process. Weighing the benefits, costs, and potential issues of each digital and local partner is time-consuming and stressful. Honestly, Printify has done a really great job here (see #4) which is one reason my team and I have enjoyed the platform. However, in my personal experience I have found it makes the whole process easier if I can define the product before shopping around for a print provider. With the Printify workflow we first select a product and then a provider before we ever setup the product itself. My best guess is that Printify assumes the brand has already defined and speced out the product prior to going into setup mode. While again Printify shines here telling us upfront what printers have which base products and color selection, if there's any mistakes with selecting a provider we have to completely restart the project. Recently I wanted to try a new provider and wasn't aware they had the color black (a super common color) in only a S size for specific shirt. This wasn't easily seen on setup because of how the workflow goes right now. The shirt this was for is designed for adults, so having a L size is necessary. Since Printify already has the data on product selection availability, an alternate workflow where we setup the product first and Printify suggests providers that can make it at those specs would be super helpful. This is a big change and might take longer for a product team to develop, a quicker solution would be making the process of switching between printers for X product easier. When I went to change the recent product (that option is sort of buried under My Products > Product > 3 dots > "replace") it completely wipes the product setup because of a new provider, which of course doesn't make any sense based on the data we know Printify has. Instead make the option to switch the tier 1 printer more visible inside of the product editing, retain any variations that match the new printer, notify of the variations that don't match the new printer's profile, allow creation of new variations, retain old pricing but prompt to review (possibly even with what the pricing differences are). This could in many cases reduce the time it takes to switch to a new provider for X product and reduce the stress associated with it. This would also give providers better date on the impact of low quality shipments, which would be invaluable for managing their own operations.
Better Product Mockups - One of the weakest spots for Printify is the product mockups, especially in t-shirts. The mockups produced are often inaccurate portrayals of a shirt, can be low quality, and lack useful definition for consumers. Pritify appears to be aware of this pushing users to third-party service PlaceIt to generate their own mockups (which has its own issues but can be useful). A few simple changes would make the Printify mockups far better and more powerful. For starters the flat shirt lacks definition and makes it look fake, instead use a base shirt with some ripples in it to add a bit of depth and character. Secondly offer an option to add the color name as a label to each mockup to give the user better definition. If a shirt is available in Black, Vintage Black, and Solid Black Blend it can be difficult for a consumer scrolling through a color selection to know which one they are looking at. Finally the file names when pushed to WooCommerce are horrific, while it might only offer marginal benefits for SEO, it could help search engines better determine what the images are, we should be allowed to give the mockups SEO friendly filenames before publishing to the site.
Better Sizing Tables - The sizing tables do not work well on mobile devices which only portray roughly the first 4 to 5 columns of data. I'm not entirely sure how to correct this specific issue, but it is a bad user experience if a shirt offers sizes XS to 3XL and only the XS to XL sizing data is visible on screen (Android at least doesn't allow users to scroll or swipe right to see the rest).
Customer Feedback Automation - As you might see the theme from the wishlist so far circles around customer satisfaction and product quality. One thing most independent ecommerce suck at is generating useful customer feedback. We all know mostly angry people are the one's who leave online reviews, this leaves Printify brands and Printify itself at a severe disadvantage to platforms that act as both a print provider and marketplace or to the marketplaces themselves which use reviews to bolster their offering to new consumers. Printify could stabilize this disadvantage by offering a system where Prinitfy ships a white-labeled email to gather feedback after a product arrives to a customer. That feedback could also add valuable insights on the entire process for Prinitfy and their partners and could be shared with brands to use to contact customers likely to leave reviews on products. This would most likely be a premium feature.
Please use this thread to post what you're going to watch. There are no specific formats for this but include information such as a specific title of a movie or a season/episode of a TV series, a link to your own discussion thread, and a time that you plan on watching it. Please do not post spoilers in this thread. Subscribers going to discussion threads should not post spoilers before the time that was posted for the intended viewing of that show/movie. Subscribers should also expect spoilers to be commonplace within a discussion thread, but by no means should a spoiler be listed in the title of a discussion thread. Consider sorting the comments by "new" to see the newest posts and be sure to use the ctrl+f function to see if what you intend on watching already has a discussion thread going for it. Multiple threads for the same thing will be removed if the original thread is less than a week old. All linked discussions should be posts made within this sub or to those subs listed in the sidebar under "Related Subreddits." At this time, this includes /movieclub and /movieaweek. Want to stream simultaneously? Use rabb.it, an online service that let's you create chat rooms and stream video across any service (Netflix, hulu, youtube, etc.). No sign-up is required and the only person that needs an account is the person hosting the session! So if you don't have Netflix, Hulu, etc., but want to watch a show with someone, find them here, ask them politely, and watch together. There's no sign-up required, no special software aside from an up to date browser. It'll prompt you to use a mic and webcam but that's not required!
2020.09.27 16:08 travel_aliA few more thoughts and experiences after 5 years.
It is now just over 5 years since I moved from the UK to Switzerland. There have been many surprises along the way. I moved here with a 1 year temporary contract and had vague plans to work, see the country at weekends, and then move on elsewhere after. During this time I have moved house, moved job, been unemployed for a few months, explored the country, met and worked with Swiss people from various parts of the country and Expats of various backgrounds, oh and gotten married to a Swiss person. This is not an all out guide (there are plenty of those), more my reflections and a few lessons learned. I have posted before after 1 year and after 2.5 years.I have also written pretty extensively about travelling here and Switzerland in general – an overview post of all that is here. ---Resources--- I came in knowing practically nothing other than a frantic check of anything I needed to do to avoid being kicked out.
The book “Living and Working in Switzerland : A Survival Handbook” by David Hampshire, is very useful.
Various dedicated websites with more serious official information sem.admin.ch, and Ch.ch, and to an extent websites like SwissInfo.
Various websites with more unofficial but helpful information. The EnglishForum.ch is a treasure trove of information and experiences. But there are endless other places like Newlyswissed, and Swiss and Chips that vary between useless fluff and very useful info.
---Why and how---
I did a PhD in the UK and as I was finishing it up and looking for a PostDoc I basically just got a job here in a place I had never heard of through chance by a chain of contacts. I had been looking to move abroad but for some reason Switzerland had never occurred to me.
Initially I arrived on a 1 year contract with Firm A, with the strong likelihood of it being extended to 2 years. It ended up as 2.5, by which time I was moved in with my girlfriend and I was set on sticking around. Job hunting was slower than I expected, so before starting on a new position at Firm B I applied to unemployment benefits for what turned out to be just a month (not sure I need to be so secretive really, but why not).
I basically just moved with my laptop and as much clothing as I could fit in a 60L backpack. I didn’t botheforgot to declare anything (not that I brought anything of any value with me).
I got lucky with housing, but that could have been the biggest problem. Initially I had been expecting to stay at a flat rented by the company for a month or two until I found my own place. This got cancelled at the last minute and I found myself trying to find a flat to move straight into. In the end I staying at a hostel for a week and moved into a shared flat found through WGzimmer.ch before the end of the week. There are not many shared flats compared to the UK, and applying for a flat often feels more like applying for a job or dating with the process dragging on for much longer than the “You like it? OK deposit and sign here” method in the UK. Starting early and getting help from your company is certainly advisable there.
---Bureaucracy, Rules, and Paperwork--- I had feared this would be a slow and complicated torture, but to date this has all been very quick, easy, and painless. In large part probably because I had a job already, I was an EU citizen, and I had an address lined up quickly.
Dealing with the local authorities has always been fast, efficient, and friendly. Other than collecting my residency permit every so often when a contract has been renewed I have only had to deal with them very periodically, but any phone call or visit has taken no more than 20 minutes with very little waiting. This might just be because I live in a small city – maybe in Zürich or a tiny village it is different.
I had a slight delay in getting my permit and bank account activated as I waited for the landlord to approve my place as subtenant and give me a contract for proof of address (despite the fact I was already living there). This didn’t create any problems, my firm just gave me an envelope stuffed with bank notes for my first payment.
Setting up a PostFinance bank account was easy (even with a language barrier then). 20 minutes of filling in a form and showing a few documents.
Despite the reputation for rules and order I have not noticed much difference to life in other industrialised western countries. If anything it is more relaxed in many ways. There are some stricter rules like having to use pre-taxed bin bags or minimal noise on a Sunday, but these are mostly reasonable enough. It is nice not hear endless lawn mower engines on a Sunday afternoon. The only rule that seems pointless is having to tie up paper in a perfect bundle for recycling. Maybe if I ever try and build a house or plan an extension it will get more complex and painful.
You are supposed to swap your driving licence within a year, or unable to drive in Switzerland and be made to repeat the test again if you want a Swiss licence. I didn’t apply at first given that I never intended to drive here or stay much longer at first. When I did apply after 2.5 years through the standard process (just to see what would happen) I actually did just get given a Swiss licence without being asked to go through the whole testing process.
The mandatory health insurance is easy enough to set up with all the big companies offering English support.
Tax was originally paid at the source (as is standard for foreign workers up until you are on a C permit), but now being married and treated as a combined legal entity I am paying tax through the standard method.
Going through the marriage process was also easy. Being an EU citizen marrying a Swiss citizen helped. There was some confusion when they asked for a statement from the UK govt saying I was not married as this apparently has not been given out in years, but a quick chat resolved that problem.
I make roughly 100k CHF per year. This is decent by Swiss standards, given my education and experience I could get more in another firm/position here, but I am happy with my workplace and would be very reluctant to give up my scenic riverside commute by bike.
Saving money has not been a problem. Even bearing most of the household costs with a studying partner. Not having a car, pets, kids, or eating/drinking out much helps there. My main non-essential expense is the general train pass and food/accommodation costs for weekends around the country.
The high prices take some getting used to at first, but when you work here it isn’t so bad (once you learn to stop converting them back to your native currency). The positive side is that when you leave Switzerland everything is suddenly so cheap.
--- The Swiss --- I like the Swiss.
I have never had any problems with the Swiss; despite the number of comments I see online bemoaning the fact that whilst Switzerland is a beautiful country it would be terrible to live in as the locals hate foreigners. I have never had a moment of hostility and experience less general rudeness than I would expect back home in the UK (even with language/culture barriers to push the patience).
I am however white, from a north-western European country which doesn’t have many expats in Switzerland, and educated (outside the expense of the Swiss people). So I am probably not going to be the target of much racism or xenophobia.
Whilst not the warmest people in the world there is a certain friendliness, especially in informal situations. Put a Swiss person in the countryside and they will be friends with anyone. In rural restaurants especially sharing a table with strangers and saying hello/goodbye to everyone there as a whole is standard practice.
I am also more on the introverted side so a quieter and orderly country is probably more my sort of place than some of the commenters.
---Making friends--- My friendship group is a mix of Swiss and other expats. It is easier to integrate with other expats, though I find that the younger generations of Swiss are much more open than the old jokes of knowing a Swiss person from birth or for 40 years to be their friend would suggest. ---Language--- I have written fairly extensively about Swiss-German before
I had some very basic German in the distance past from school. Then started learning before I arrived. Now I am B2/C1 with German and working towards A2 with French.
I didn’t need to get a language certificate (still don’t really). Partly I put it off thinking I would wait until the next level, and partly that the grammar and me are not friends. I have finally taken the TELC B2 exam for German and am waiting on the results for that.
English is very widely spoken. Frustratingly so at times, even in seemingly obscure and remote little places I have people speak back to me in English when they hear my accent.
If you live in a city and work in an international workplace then knowing the local language isn’t really needed. Though I certainly don’t recommend doing that.
It is natural to think that everyone here speaks German/French/Italian fluently (and maybe some Romansch), but that is far from the case. Some do have all 3, many are fluent in 2, but very often English is the preferred common language outside of their mother tongue. Likewise the way the language regions tend to have very hard borders without much overlap was a bit surprising at first.
Being in a country with multiple languages will never get boring. Especially somewhere that actually is bilingual like Biel where it isn’t uncommon for a shopkeeper to forget what language they were speaking to you in and switch from German to French.
Those bastard fancy landscape photos didn’t show the fog did they? From September to February temperature inversion means that much of the low lying middle of Switzerland can be sat in/under a thick fog. How bad this is varies by location; some places barely get any whilst others turn into Silent Hill. Already shorter winter days can be shortened by hours as the light is swallowed. The plus side is that above the fog you get super clear views, but it gets depressing after weeks of daily life sat in it.
The country is much livelier than I expected. The stereotype of a grey serious place might have been true decades ago but certainly isn’t now. Especially in summer there are constant music festivals, lively bars, and flotillas of people floating down the rivers in inflatable flamingos. Granted it still isn’t Latin America.
The Swiss see summer as BBQ season in a way that makes the Aussies look like amateurs. I have seen people lighting up fires on tiny balconies in Zürich to BBQ on.
How much there is outside of the Alps. Maybe it was my ignorance before, but I was surprised by how many beautiful spots there are even in the topographically boring parts of the country.
Aromat on the table.
Making a fire in the countryside to roast a cervelat.
Phoned the police to lodge a nose complaint (the Bünzli award). It was 2am on a weekday and the 5th night in a row. I haven’t started to phone the police because my neighbour sneezed too loudly on a Sunday (yet).
Raclette grill and Fondue caquelon in the kitchen.
Swimming and floating in lakes and rivers.
Visiting more places in Switzerland than most Swiss people I know. A new country is always more interesting than your own backyard in fairness.
---Why I am still here--- I certainly never thought I would be here 5 years later, but I am very happy to still be around.
It is a beautiful and safe county with nice people, high quality services and infrastructure. Having understood the culture and learnt the language is an incentive too.
I keep finding work. The Swiss level income is a nice bonus, but it really isn’t the thing that is driving me to stay here.
The thing I would find hardest to give up is the freedom of the landscape. The extent of paths and smaller roads around the country that are open to anyone. Making it so easy and carefree to get out and anywhere, especially by foot or bike.
It is much more varied than you would expect. Both in landscape and culture there is plenty of different things to see and take in so there is always something to do.
I also dislike driving, so the extensive public transport system is fantastic.
---What I dislike--- Not much.
Less smokers and more Australian like rules on smoking would be very nice (EG no smoking in areas where people are eating, including outdoors). It would be nice to sit down on a terrace at a restaurant and not worry if a chain smoker is going to sit down at the table next to you.
More exotic food and longer shop opening times would be nice (seeing the supermarkets closed at 18:30 was a hell of a shock at first) but I have gotten used to that.
Not getting a language certificate before.
Not joining a club. I have looked but really nothing has taken my fancy.
---Changes with time---
I have gotten too used to the landscape. I still admire the view from the train window, but it is never as special or exciting as during the first few months.
My town has seen an increase in English speakers. Mostly due to the growth/arrival of a few big MedTech firms.
E-bikes are increasingly everywhere. I had never seen one before I arrived and was surprised to see them all over town. Now they are all over the countryside too with mountain E-bikes being very common.
The climate seems to be getting warmer and drier every year.
The amount of rubbish and anti-social noise (especially blue-tooth speakers) seems to be getting worse. People seem especially unable to bother carrying their empty cans and disposable BBQ with them from the riverside during summer. Thankfully it isn’t common in the countryside, but the number of people who need an absurdly loud speaker at all times is sad.
2020.09.27 13:11 LitteraAgencyEnglish Translation: where to find a professional English translator?
English translation: prices, choice of a linguist, deadlines
Many people today are learning conversational English via online courses and attending various private institutions. This is the trend of the XXI century. However, when it comes to working with text and legal documents, the skills gained are hardly enough. A high-quality translation cannot be done by a person without experience in the field. This is even more true for cases when it comes to specialized texts (medical, technical, legal). English, considering the number of native speakers is the fourth in the world. Therefore, the services of translation agencies are in high demand. The majority of the clients are sure that they should only entrust reputable companies to do the work. This is the only way to get quality material. If you decide to order a translation from/into English, it does not make sense to save money and focus only on finding the cheapest offer.
How do I choose a good translator?
The ability to work with different sources, the use of specialized literature and an understanding of professional terminology are the main criteria for choosing a specialist. If you are looking for the perfect translator, make sure that the candidate has not only a diploma, but also experience. English is quite subtle. For example, lawyers, even speaking the same language, may not always agree with each other, interpreting the meaning of words differently. Therefore, if you have decided to translate from English you should always be meticulous about the choices you make.
English translations: due dates
The deadline of a translation always depends on the volume of the text and its complexity. The qualification of a specialist is also important. This can be a native speaker or a certified linguist. The simplest text (birth certificate) can be translated into English in 10-15 minutes. This service is often ordered by parents of schoolchildren who wish to send their child abroad to study, although there may be other reasons as well. For a passport, the processing time will be 20-30 minutes on average. The translation costs from/into English in this case depends on the number of pages. Complex texts (e.g. technical or medical) will require an average of about 1 hour per page. In this case, you will need a dedicated professional of the specific field. If a client has ordered a notarization, the result will be received no earlier than within one business day.
Order English translations from professionals
People looking for exceptional linguists should visit the LITTERA agency website. This applies not only to cases when you need to do a translation from/into English. The company employs over 100 certified linguists who are ready to work with your document in almost any language. Cooperation details can be discussed by phone, indicated on the website.
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