Business Counsel Associates

Archive for the ‘Computers & Software’

How to be a Suave Spy for Your Business

January 17, 2012 By: azjogger Category: Computers & Software, Marketing & Sales, Operations

By Brett Thorne

Chances are that in the course of your daily web-surfing you’ve stopped by your competitor’s

website before. Maybe you just wanted to compare the layout of their site versus yours.

Maybe you wanted to see how recently they had updated their blog or get some information

about what sort of inventory management they use.

What many small business owners don’t realize is that there is a trove of valuable information that

can be gleaned from scouring your competitor’s site, subscribing to their social media channels and

joining mailing lists. There is a whole industry that centers around competitive intelligence, and if you

have a decently sized budget, you may want to contract some work out to one of these organizations.

Using a private investigator

These companies will send out one of their private investigators to legally scrounge for

information on your rival’s competitive practices including invoices, contracts and customer

lists. That can include everything from calling your competitor to gain information on pricing

and shipping rates to digging through the company’s trash.

If you’re not interested in hiring out that kind of help, you can do plenty from your office chair.

First of all, subscribe to your rival’s Twitter and Facebook feeds. These will give you good

information about what products and services your rival is pushing, what sort of specials they

are running and the general day to day info about the company.

Check the Free Services

Use free services like changedetection.com and femtoo.com to track changes to your

competitor’s site. This information will give you a good idea of what the company is planning

to do in the future. If they have a “Meet the Staff” page or something similar that they just

added five new salespeople to, this might indicate that they are expecting higher sales or

experiencing rapid growth.

Finally, sign up for mailing lists. This is possibly the most valuable free tool you can use.

Being on a competitor’s mailing list is like being on the inside. You’re now privileged to all

the information they want their customer base to know about. You can get a glimpse at the

company’s plans for the next month, including sales, promotions, events and new product


Legal search techniques can be very effective

These practices are completely legal and they can help you get a leg up on the competition if

you utilize them correctly. Plus, they’re a heck of a lot cleaner than digging through their trash.

Newest, Hottest HR Trend and its Affordable: Voluntary Benefits

October 19, 2011 By: azjogger Category: Computers & Software, Financial

By Jelani Asar

Employees Want Them and More Employers are Offering Them – The  Competition is Heating Up

(Voluntary benefits are insurance products that employees may choose to purchase through their companies at rates that are lower than they could get on their own. A few examples of voluntary benefits are dental, vision, life, disability, supplemental health and cancer insurance. Many employers offer voluntary benefits because they allow companies to provide a more robust benefits package at no cost to them.)

According to benefit trends surveys by MetLife, The Hartford, Colonial Life,  and LIMRA, as well as research executives within companies such as Transamerica,  there are surprising numbers reflecting the building trends in our voluntary  employee benefits market, see here:

  • 5 in 10 employees believe voluntary benefits are “very” or “extremely”  important
  • 7 in 10 employers believe their employees don’t even want voluntary benefits  at all
  • Less than 1 in 10 employees will say they want voluntary benefits when asked  by their employer, yet more than 6 in 10 employees get the voluntary benefits  when offered them by their employer
  • More than 9 in 10 Americans would be forced to change their lifestyle if  they lost a portion of their income for 36 months
  • More than 1 in 2 employees say they are very worried about the gaps in  medical insurance
  • More than 6 in 10 Gen Y, Gen X, younger and older baby boomers understand  they get a better deal, better education, and easier management of their  voluntary coverage as a benefit than individually outside of the workplace

A choice of benefits important for creating loyalty

  • More than 4 in 10 of younger to middle aged employees say a choice of  benefits that meets their need is extremely important for creating loyalty
  • Nearly 1 in 2 HR Managers and Benefits Administrators plan to add voluntary  benefits
  • 1 in 2 employers plan on increasing employees’ health insurance premiums,  deductibles and/or copays
  • Over 99 in 100 employers agree employees need guidance for benefits  decisions
  • 1 in 2 companies with at least 1,000 employees are interested in  transitioning their existing benefits to voluntary benefits
  • More than 1 in 2 US employers offer voluntary benefits right now.

Uncertainty in the economy, shoestring budgets, living paycheck to paycheck,  bankruptcies, foreclosures, and debt problems are causing even voluntary legal  services and voluntary tax services to skyrocket in popularity, with a combined  influence of being offered in over 3 in 10 Fortune 500 companies thus far

How Long Do I Have?

The obviousness of the truth is here – voluntary employee benefits are  leading the trend and the new question is, “How soon before I am losing top  talent to my competitors because of their voluntary benefits?”

Extremely Affordable…Extremely

As Dori Molloy, Regional VP of Transamerica Worksite Marketing and Mike Fish,  VP of The Group Benefits Division of The Hartford Financial Services Group agree  in Voluntary Mandate an advertorial to Employee Benefit News, voluntary employee  benefits are also great because they are affordable and for a small investment  you can have coverage and value far in excess of what you would think its  investment would likely command.

Because in the same way a dollar a day invested in a solid fund in the market  can bring massive long term reward, voluntary benefits are the massive  return-on-investment-product of the benefits market.

With many voluntary benefits, you get access to a group deal, a group rate  that is exclusive to you as an employee, and other people who are not employees  – regardless of their position in life or their connections – do not have access  to! Period.

The deal is equivalent to getting goods at wholesale

Your exclusive deal is basically equivalent getting goods at wholesale rather  than retail, going to Costco and getting huge savings, or clearing the shelves  to take advantage of limited time offers – as many of us are more than eager to  do, aren’t we?

Again, all in all, the voluntary benefit is affordable, exclusive, and may  possibly be one of the best investments you’ve ever made.

Jelani Asar and his team in Income Protection Atlanta are saving your  business taxes, protecting your employees money, and increasing your monthly  cashflows all through our voluntary Georgia health benefits quickly, easily, and incredibly – for  Free! and simply Click here – http://www.IncomeProtectionAtlanta.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jelani_Asar

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6615153

Science News from Physorg.Com

August 22, 2010 By: azjogger Category: Computers & Software, Marketing & Sales

Mankind must abandon earth or face extinction: Hawking
Mankind’s only chance of long-term survival lies in colonising space, as humans drain Earth of resources and face a terrifying array of new threats, warned British scientist Stephen Hawking on Monday.
Wax, soap clean up obstacles to better batteries
A little wax and soap can help build electrodes for cheaper lithium ion batteries, according to a study in August 11 issue of Nano Letters. The one-step method will allow battery developers to explore lower-priced alternatives to the lithium ion-metal oxide batteries currently on the market.
Dark-matter search plunges physicists to new depths
The universe consists of a large amount of invisible matter – dark matter. We do not know what it is, but we know that it is there and that without dark matter there would be no galaxies, and hence stars, planets and life as we know it. The universe is filled with large structures that are dominated by dark matter and in these dark matter spheres or ‘halos’ the light emitting particles form stars and gas clumps. Recent studies show that these dark matter halos have so-called attractors, which preserve their shape. The results are published in Astrophysical Journal Letter.


New telescope may study dawn of time, if NASA can get it into space
When it works, and if it works, the James Webb Space Telescope could revolutionize astronomy by peering so deep into space that scientists soon could study the dawn of time.
New Study: Building muscle doesn’t require lifting heavy weights
Current gym dogma holds that to build muscle size you need to lift heavy weights. However, a new study conducted at McMaster University has shown that a similar degree of muscle building can be achieved by using lighter weights. The secret is to pump iron until you reach muscle fatigue.
Researchers discover genetic link between immune system, Parkinson’s disease
A team of researchers has discovered new evidence that Parkinson’s disease may have an infectious or autoimmune origin. “Common genetic variation in the HLA region is associated with late-onset sporadic Parkinson’s disease” appears online in Nature Genetics.
Hold the Calculators: Let’s Talk About Math!
Many children, when learning to read, are encouraged by their teachers to retell all they remember about a story in order to build their comprehension skills. But can similar comprehension strategies be applied to mathematics? Researchers at North Carolina State University say that when teachers work with kids to talk through math problems, kids do a better job of absorbing and understanding the content.

Foreclosure reduces home’s eventual sale price by 27 percent on average
Foreclosure reduces the eventual sale price of a home by an average 27 percent, compared to the prices paid for similar properties nearby. Those nearby homes, in turn, could see their own prices depressed by 1 percent, if they happen to be within 250 feet of the foreclosed property.

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Cyber Espionage Series to Start March 26

March 18, 2010 By: azjogger Category: Computers & Software

The theft of information and data from business, government and personal computers has escalated dramatically the past year to the extent cyber espionage has become a major national threat.  Because this threat affects everyone, I have tried to prepare an overview of the situation by researching a variety of sources over the past month. I hope you will find the five-part series of interest:

                                                                                                                         Posting Date

 Cyber Espionage:     A Serious Threat Continues to Grow      March 26

Cyber Espionage:      The Vulnerabilities are Many                    March 30

Cyber Espionage:       Threats are Many and Varied                    April 3

 Cyber Espionage:       Prevention Takes Many Forms                April 7

 Cyber Espionage:       Preparing for the Future                              April 11 

John Riley