Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Meet Hersh Davis-Nitzberg, Entrepreneur and Image Consultant

With over fifteen years of experience as a strategic media consultant, Hersh Davis-Nitzberg is an American entrepreneur, publicist, image consultant, and event producer. As an entrepreneur, he has financed companies while helping to raise over ten million in private equity capital. As an image consultant, he has worked closely with celebrities, politicians, and athletes. He currently specializes in reputation repair, reputation defense, and reputation management at http://repairbadreputation.com/. In addition, he serves on the board of several non-profit organizations. Based on his strong relationships and insider intelligence, he has built significant influence in Southern California.

1. What made you to decide to start a company focused on helping people repair their reputation online?

The reason I started a reputation management firm was based upon my personal experience of being smeared online by an anonymous person. I looked myself up online in 2007 and did not like what I saw; at the time I did not think of it as a business, but rather a personal issue. When I first started talking to people about the core business model, most could not understand the importance of what I was saying. They did not get why reputation management was needed. At the time, the phrase "reputation management" did not exist. "Image" enhancement, damage control, and other names were thrown around. It was not until 2011 that people started even using the term reputation management and begining to understand the importance of the services we offer. Now, everyone understands the importance of this work, and the market is growing beyond my wildest dreams.

2. In the process of starting your company, what did you find the most fun, and what was the most challenging?

In the process of starting my own company, I think the hardest part in many ways was trying to convince the people around me that I was not crazy, that the countless hours, money, and energy I was spending on this idea made sense to me, but not necessarily the people around me. I was working out of my apartment, a one bedroom I rented in a house; it was hard work, and I ran through a lot of my savings. The best part has always been setting my own hours, and not reporting to anyone else. It does not make life easier, and you have to only work harder, but it is rewarding to feel a sense of personal satisfaction with every positive step forward.

3. Based on your own experience, why is it important for entrepreneurs to take the time to participate in nonprofit organizations?

A non-profit business is one of the fundamental tools to self-improvement and self-growth. As you grow, you need to feel a sense of value beyond the riches and fame; I think the only thing that helps me stay balanced is my ability to leverage what I do now and give my time to others who may be less fortunate than myself. I have always been involved with non-profits and think in many ways your success as a person lies in your ability to share your strengths with people with less fortunate as you. Without that, you have nothing!

4. What would your advice be to others who want to start their own companies?

My only advice to someone wanting to start your own company is expect a long road, believe in yourself as many of our greatest minds met some of the greatest opposition, and be ready to work seven days a week. Most of all, dream great dreams dreams propelled by controlled madness.

5. How do you see your company--and your own career--developing over the next few years?

Right now Repair Bad Reputation is growing at a rate beyond expectations. We currently have twenty-three full-time employees and posted a 400% growth this quarter. In the next several years, I would like to see this business grow out, hiring people better than myself to do the jobs I could not do. I want to expand and open up several other companies, so I am currently reading about how one can leverage this spirit to expand in many directions.

Thanks, Hersh!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

IRS Tax Refund Schedule Dates

It's been a bit of a strange year for taxes with the government shutdown last year delaying tax forms and other relevant information from the federal government. On the other hand, some of us might say that every year is a bit of a strange year for taxes, as such is the nature of the beast, but I digress!

We get used to remembering April 15 as our filing date, but even that is subject to change, and when you file at different times, you can expect your refund at different times, as the following two articles indicate:

http://www.examiner.com/article/current-irs-tax-refund-schedule-dates-for-2014

http://www.examiner.com/article/irs-efile-2014-tax-refund-cycle-chart-for-2013-taxes

On the plus side, e-filing has made filing your taxes and getting your refunds a lot quicker. And really my favorite part of thinking about taxes is thinking about getting a refund and figuring out how I'll spend the money. But there are a lot of factors that can slow down your refund. For example, if you're needing to file amended returns, this can slow you down quite a bit.

This isn't a tax blog, of course, but sometimes readers send me links related to taxes, and I try to share information when I can!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Author Spotlight: Deborah Dolen

Author Deborah Dolen is the busy author of 29 books. Her work all seems to share a common thread of working with natural ingredients, such as honey, beeswax to make lip balm, bee pollen to make healing salves, and easy-to-grow flowers that are fun to cut and arrange for the home.

For example, Deborah has written about edible flower petals, and she offers tips for making great salads and wowing your guests with sprinkles of bright orange marigold petals and violet impatiens petals. Deborah helps inspire me to garden with her writing about the ways that flowers are meant to do many things. In designing a garden, I like Deborah's advice to choose some plants designed just for making fresh cut floral designs to bring in the home, plus a selection of herbs for making skin care products and medicinal syrups. Beyond putting flower petals in salads, you can also make floral petal extracts for skin care. Deborah Dolen covers all of these--and more--concepts in her books.

If you have even the slightest interest in beekeeping, you may well find that after reading Deborah's book, The Beekeeper's Digest, you'll really want to be a beekeeper and raise honey bees.

Deborah Dolen

Beekeeping has become more and more popular for backyard gardeners. As Deborah writes in The Beekeeper's Digest, honey bees make so many byproducts it is amazing! And you don't have to be a beekeeper to make natural products using things made by the bees. For instance, you can buy bee pollen from a local beekeeper and make "bee pollen oil" by just soaking the bee pollen in macadamia nut oil. Deborah writes that macadamia nut and jojoba oil is most closest to our own skin chemistry, so she uses these two oils for making almost all body care recipes, including lip products, cleansing creams, and even soap. In fact, it was from Deborah Dolen I learned soap is basically oil. Back to bee pollen oil, you simply soak bee pollen in macadamia nut oil for a week, and you'll find that you suddenly have a beautiful orange oil packed with micronutrients and very healing for the skin. Deborah says marigold petals are also dynamic to infuse if you'd like because marigold oil, also known as Calendula oil, is great for anti-inflammatory purposes and circulation. She highly recommends it for people with edema.

Another interesting point in The Beekeeper's Digest is that the source of the hive is very important. The more remotely the honey and byproducts are produced from a major city pollution the better. There are a lot of interesting beekeeping facts in Deborah's book, and she has a wealth of recipes for products like lip balms and soothing creams. You'll never think about beeswax the same way again!

Aromatherapy is another topic dear to the heart of Deborah Dolen. Her work on the topic helps you understand essential oils and what they are known to do, which is a good topic to research if you want to make your own skin care products. Aromatherapy Basics is Deborah's book designed to help you tlearn how nature and botanicals work. &

Many botanicals are natural healers, and essential oils from them can go into a lip balm type recipe and become a healing "salve." One of Deborah's recipes along this line is for a lavender super-healing burn butter. Another example is her bruise balm using blue chamomile. The book helps you create essential oil blends for specific results. It can be a helpful guide if you want to make your own bath bombs and bath salts, as described in two other of her books, The Self Apothecary and The Bathroom Chemist. These books offer a ton of bath and body products to give as gifts for Christmas or other holidays. The cost is very low compared to buying finished body care products, and you can trust the high quality of products you make yourself.

In addition to making bath and body products for the coming holiday season, Deborah Dolen shares a lot of recipes for food items that make great gifts in her Kitchen Arts Collection. This book contains a selection of dry dip mix recipes and loads of "gifts in a mason jar" recipes. For a sample recipe, check out Deborah's .org site: http://www.deborahdolen.org/.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Introducing NETTPOS, Point of Sale Software for Retail and F and B

You don't have to be a software professional to use powerful point of sale (POS) software for your business. When you use a POS system like NETTPOS in your retail store or food and beverage business, you not only gain control over many of your business operations but you also increase business efficiency and profitability.

Using POS software is one of the most efficient ways to streamline sales processes in business including supplier management and inventory. A good POS system will give you detailed information about all of your income as well as your expenses, in the form of reports and easily accessible data so that you can make the best, most informed decisions for your company.

NETTPOS has established branch offices in Asia, together with a strong and dynamic team to fulfill the needs of customers from various industries. The company prides itself on being able to deliver quality solutions to cater to their customers' each and every unique need, based on in-depth knowledge of the retail and F&B industries and the collaboration and support of their business partners.

Business owners can know that the team members at NETTPOS are investing in the development of emerging software and hardware technologies, such as finding better ways to improve the overall customer experience, optimize system performance, and create software or hardware modules that will literally help customers of all ages to easily master and use of the POS system, which is the future of retail stores.

Meet Harry Bettencourt of BarStools.co.uk

Harry Bettencourt runs an ecommerce store dedicated to selling bar stools. With a background in design, he sources his stock from the best designers around the globe, importing them back into the UK, and then re-selling them via www.BarStools.co.uk.

1. What inspired you to start a website focused specifically on bar stools and related products?

It was my time spent working with Italian interior designers during a year in Rome. These guys are hugely talented and opened by eyes up to how different shapes and forms could make a difference to the feel of a room. I was interested mainly in kitchen design, and at the time in Italy, the breakfast bar was quite popular. Of course, an integral part of these installations are breakfast bar stools or kitchen bar stools. When I got back to the UK, I kept some of those relationships open with the Italian guys and brokered a deal to import their bar stools back to the UK.

It grew from there, and I haven't really looked back since!

2. Why do you think that bars/bar stools have become a popular for home decor?

It's funny, because in the 1970s and 1980s, having a small bar in your home was actually quite popular, but then seemed to disappear during the 1990s and early 2000s. I am not honestly sure why there has been a renaissance in using bar stools with interior design, or having home bars.

What I would say though is that nowadays there is a huge amount of choice on the market. Kitchen bar stools can be retro, modern, contemporary--you name it, there will be a bar stools to suit a design or style.

3. I've noticed a lot of retro styled furniture lately, but what do you think are the prevailing trends today?

In terms of trends, I can only go on which bar stools sell in the highest volumes via my website, and the last six months it's mainly been the more classic stuff. So bar stools which incorporate wooden and leather elements, that kind of thing.

In the UK at least, it seems like people are harking back to classic design, and I don't mean retro by that, but just timeless pieces that complement a high quality kitchen refurbishment. Those types of bar stools are selling very well right now.

4. How do you decide which designs/products to feature in your shop?

I tend to subscribe to most of the leading interior design magazines to see what type of trends are developing. Based on that, I can get a good idea on what bar stools will suit the forthcoming designs and then order on those lines.

5. What's your best advice to people who are shopping for furniture and want to choose something that will last for many years?

I always go by the mantra that if you buy cheap, you buy twice (although we do have some items currently on a promotional sale). All of our bar stools are made of the best materials with real attention to detail--plus we have long guarantees, so come check us out!

Thanks, Harry!