Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Windows is the wost OS ever

...except for every other OS I've tried.

Using 8.1, there is a Lock Screen.

I changed the image on that lock screen. Great!

The time and date are displayed and clash with my chosen image.

Microsoft didn't consider the fact that MAYBE some of us might not want their time and date to appear on our lock screen. I mean, the computer belongs to me. Shouldn't I be able to do with it whatever I want?

As a programmer, it's a simple thing to give an option to TURN SOMETHING OFF!

Even editing the registry isn't doing exactly what I want.


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

CPA Monthly Write up

Small business owners tend to spend their time working for their clients, and find that bookkeeping is a time-sink that detracts them from their core tasks. Hiring a CPA to do your monthly write-ups is a good way to minimize this time commitment so you can concentrate on making a profit.

When your CPA does your monthly write-up, he or she will likely reconcile your bank account, generate an income statement and balance sheet, review and correct your general ledger and provide some consultation.

This is the bedrock of your accounting system. Ask your CPA about this and other accounting services such as tax prep, business & personal tax planing and payroll.

If you don't already have a CPA or you're looking for a new one, please visit my client's website: or call Tanya Higginbotham at 813-689-6413.

Business Growth

Often, when I post information about business coaching, my focus is on those businesses that are struggling and need a business consultant to help get them back on track.

Today I want to switch my focus to those that are successfully running a business, making a profit, have healthy relationships with their employees, customers and vendors, and are considering expansion.

One doesn't just roll out of bed one morning with full plans for expansion and run with it. Expansion, if done incorrectly, can actually be harmful to your business. 

Here are some things to consider to ensure you get the results you are looking for. 

Market Intelligence
Will the market support the expansion? If your competitors are successfully expanding, it may be a good sign that your expansion will also succeed. Consider if there is a population shift that may allow you to expand into a newly populated area.

Economies of Scale
Will expansion allow you to purchase product and supplies in bulk, resulting in lower cost per unit? Consider if a higher sales volume will allow you to reduce your prices to better compete.

Cash Flow
Do you have proven numbers that your current cash flow will support the expansion, and that the expansion will positively affect your profits quickly? Purchasing or leasing a new building or renovating your current facilities can be costly. Additional equipment, supplies and product also add to your immediate and ongoing expenses. Before even considering a bank loan, plan ahead for how you will repay it. Don't expand yourself to death.

Consider how world events may impact demand for your product or service. Is your product recession proof? Will people still need your services when terrorists strike around the world? Does your business have the financial fortitude to withstand a time when demand drops off, waiting for a recovery?

As you expand, you may have to relinquish control of some aspects of your business by delegating tasks you are accustomed to performing on your own. Are you prepared to do that? Do you have management in place to handle those tasks?

Do you have the experience required to successfully manage a business expansion? A business coach or business consultant can help you through this process. Cynthia Alloway, of Common Sense Business Solutions, has been through this process for a variety of clients and knows how to help you through these and other considerations and get you headed down the right path to expanded success.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Winter Tree Care

Nothing cleans house like "company's coming".

Let the same be said of your trees and shrubs. Winter is the time for northern visitors to migrate to our warmer weather. Let them find your home or business looking it's best with well manicured trees and shrubs.

You'll want a well established tree trimming company with years of experience working on Florida's native trees as well as any exotics that you may have. In business since 1976, the professionals at Mid Florida Tree Service are sure to know how to best care for all your trees.

Safety first. With all the extra guests arriving, it's a good time to consider tree safety as well. Let Mid Florida Tree Service trim the deadwood from your trees to prevent falling limbs from damaging property or injuring your guests or neighbors.

Clean up. If summer storms have done a number on your trees or lot, let Mid Florida Tree Service help get it looking good again.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Tax Prep Marketing

December might seem like a long way off from tax day, but for a tax prep company, it's prime time to start thinking about and planning your marketing strategy for the coming season.

Direct mail may end up in the trash and radio and TV commercials all begin to sound the same after a while.

My client, Giant Balloon Rental, offers cold air balloons, helium blimps and giant balloons with helium tank rental, LED signs in single color or full color, SkyTracker searchlights and other outdoor advertising items to draw attention directly to your storefront.

Don't let tax season pass you by without getting the most from your advertising budget.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Tampa Tree Pruning

I have the pleasure of working on the website for a Tree Trimming company that serves the Tampa area. Of course, to work on that site I have to read and type a considerable amount of text on the topic of tree services.

Recently I was working on the page about Tree Pruning and Tree Trimming and thought it would make an interesting piece here.

Trees grow in forests and no one trims them, so why should I have my trees trimmed?

Well, if a limb falls in the forest, no one cares. Healthy trees shed limbs, sometimes large limbs, so keeping them trimmed out is necessary for safety.

If the entire tree falls in the forest, another will likely grow in it's place. If it falls on your home, it will likely do considerable damage and could cause serious injury to anyone nearby. An experienced arborist knows how to trim a tree properly to minimize the chance that the tree will fall.

Unlike the in the forest, trees near our homes are subject to our aesthetic desires. We want our trees to look nice. Trimming a tree helps maintain symmetry and a pleasant appearance.

Mid Florida Tree Service has you covered: Tampa Tree Trimming

If a tree is not growing enough foliage, a proper pruning will encourage it to put on more branches and leaves. If the tree is growing out of control, a prune / trim can curb and control the extra growth.

A tree might also be trimmed or pruned to allow more light to filter through the canopy or to allow more wind to pass through, making it less susceptible to storm damage.

Attempting to trim a tree without proper safety equipment and know-how is a dangerous thing! It's one thing to cut down a tree in the forest and let it fall, but in an around homes, cars and people, let the experts do the climbing and cutting.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Help for Struggling Businesses

If your business isn't performing the way you thought it would, if your profits are down or even negative, the stress can be overwhelming and each decision you make seems more difficult than the one before it.

Vendors need to be paid, payroll needs to be met, expansion is just a pipe-dream at this point. What do you do?

Maybe a Business Coach is just what you need to turn around a struggling business. Not sure, take this quiz DO YOU NEED A BUSINESS COACH? to see if a business coach is the right choice for you.

Your widgets are probably the best widgets in town, but if you struggle on the business side, your business may still fail. Seriously consider the expertise of someone who regularly helps business owners save failing businesses.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A great CPA

A skilled CPA is a great asset to your company, not only during tax season, but to help you plan your entire financial year and even your long term goals. A CPA has extensive training in all areas of finances and will bring those skills to bear for you.

So, you're looking for an accountant, you've done your research and want to ensure they have "CPA" in their title and you're on the hunt for a great one.

How do you decide?

Here's a more in-depth look at a Great CPA, but the short version is that beyond the technical ability, book learning and experience, you need a CPA with the soft skills to communicate with you in a way that suits your business and personal style. These soft skills help the CPA understand exactly what you want and expect out of your business and this helps the two of you make a plan to make it happen.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Tampa Outdoor Advertising

I mentioned it before, but I want to re-emphasize the importance of outdoor advertising for businesses who rely on walk-in traffic.

It may be even more important for those that need impulse driven traffic.

If you're in Tampa, St. Pete, or just about anywhere in Florida, Giant Balloon Rental out of Orlando is a great choice. As you'd guess by the name, they have giant inflatable gorilllas, eagles, motorcycles and many other shapes and characters.

What's not so obvious in their name is that they also offer Skytracker Searchlights and both traffic style and full color LED signs.

Another big seller and big impact maker is giant helium balloons, and of course to go with it, helium tank rental.

Whether your business is in South Tampa, New Tampa, Ybor City, Port Tampa, around the Port of Tampa or even downtown, give them a call at  407-354-2300 to see what outdoor advertising options will work best in your marketing strategy.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Ask your Business Coach about Contractor vs Employee

I have worked as both an employee and as a contractor. In my business, I haven't yet hired any employees, and I haven't paid any one person more than the reporting threshold, currently $600, to even bother drawing up a contract.

But, when I did work as a contractor for a friend of mine, I carefully studied the IRS implications to ensure that he and I both stayed out of trouble with the IRS. You see, an independent contractor, or "contract worker" has to pay his own employment tax. If an employer treats an employee as if he were a contractor, then the employer is at risk of serious penalties from the IRS. If the contractor fails to pay his employment tax throughout the year, he may face penalties, or simply a larger tax bill than he imagined.

As a business, if someone is going to perform ongoing services to you, at your office, with your equipment and under your supervision, make them an employee. If they perform services to you on demand, at their location or with their equipment under their own supervision, then you can hire them as contractor. If they are somewhere in between these descriptions, ask a trusted business coach  or tax professional to evaluate the situation and help you determine where this worker fits into your organization.

If you choose to hire a contractor, keep a separate vendor file for them and place their documents in this file such as any licenses they are required to have, certifications, proof of insurance etc.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Tree Service Estimate

Fallen Tree
If you have a tree down on your property, or have one that looks like it's in danger of falling, It can be intimidating to think about what you are going to have to do to take care of it. You may have no idea where to even start or how much it's going to cost you.

A certified arborist can evaluate the situation, present a well thought out plan to rectify it and give you an estimate of the labor involved.

My client, Mid Florida Tree Service, offers their estimates at no cost. It's good to know you don't have to pay just to find out how much you're going to have to pay. You can visit their estimate request form to get started. There you can tell them about your fallen or endangered tree and let them know how they can contact you. If it's an emergency situation like the unfortunate driver pictured with this text. Give them a call instead @ (813) 986-2258

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Tax Identity Theft

I edited this page a while back, but I don't think I gave it the attention it deserves.

Crooks will use dumpster diving, phishing scams and public records searches to get the information they need to impersonate a tax payer and then steal their refund.

Check out that page for tips on how to protect yourself against this type of scam.

Bartering in Business

Once in a while, a business will have an opportunity to trade goods or services for goods or services instead of paying in cash or writing a check. Barter also works as a means of debt collection. If your debtor cannot pay, perhaps they can trade you some of their products or provide a service such as pressure washing your driveway or washing your fleet of service vehicles.

Whatever the circumstances that lead to a barter, the business owner needs to be aware that the IRS views goods and services received through barter as if they were cash income at the fair market value of those good or services.

Make sure your CPA knows the details of any barters you make. If you use a Barter Exchange Network, make sure they'll provide you the correct IRS form at the end of the year.

Don't be afraid to barter, but make sure you keep good records and let your accountant know what's going on.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Indiana Experiment

I was born in Indiana and lived there until I was about 15 years old. My first memories are in Knighstown, where I lived until my house burned and I moved to New Castle.

I remember visits to Carthage and Wood's Campground and going in to Indianapolis or Muncie if we wanted to go to a mall.

I even went to "carburation tests" in Speedway Indiana. That was pretty awesome.

Why am I telling you all this?

Just leading in to this. The one blog post I've made that has the largest number of hits includes a list of cities in Florida, so I want to see if I get the same kind of result from a list of cites and towns in Indiana. This list came from who in turn says they got the information from the postal service ZIP Code data, so some towns might be missing if they share a ZIP.

Cities in Indiana that begin with the letter "A".
Advance, IN
Akron, IN
Alamo, IN
Albany, IN
Albion, IN
Alexandria, IN
Ambia, IN
Amboy, IN
Amo, IN
Anderson, IN
Andrews, IN
Angola, IN
Arcadia, IN
Arcola, IN
Argos, IN
Arlington, IN
Ashley, IN
Athens, IN
Atlanta, IN
Attica, IN
Atwood, IN
Auburn, IN
Aurora, IN
Austin, IN
Avilla, IN
Avoca, IN
Avon, IN

- B -
Cities in Indiana that begin with the letter "B".
Bainbridge, IN
Bargersville, IN
Batesville, IN
Bath, IN
Battle Ground, IN
Bedford, IN
Beech Grove, IN
Bellmore, IN
Bennington, IN
Bentonville, IN
Berne, IN
Bethlehem, IN
Beverly Shores, IN
Bicknell, IN
Bippus, IN
Birdseye, IN
Blanford, IN
Bloomfield, IN
Bloomingdale, IN
Bloomington, IN
Bluffton, IN
Boggstown, IN
Boone Grove, IN
Boonville, IN
Borden, IN
Boston, IN
Boswell, IN
Bourbon, IN
Bowling Green, IN
Bradford, IN
Branchville, IN
Brazil, IN
Bremen, IN
Bridgeton, IN
Brimfield, IN
Bringhurst, IN
Bristol, IN
Bristow, IN
Brook, IN
Brooklyn, IN
Brookston, IN
Brookville, IN
Brownsburg, IN
Brownstown, IN
Brownsville, IN
Bruceville, IN
Bryant, IN
Buck Creek, IN
Buckskin, IN
Buffalo, IN
Bunker Hill, IN
Burket, IN
Burlington, IN
Burnettsville, IN
Burrows, IN
Butler, IN
Butlerville, IN

- C -
Cities in Indiana that begin with the letter "C".
Cambridge City, IN
Camby, IN
Camden, IN
Campbellsburg, IN
Canaan, IN
Cannelburg, IN
Cannelton, IN
Carbon, IN
Carlisle, IN
Carmel, IN
Cartersburg, IN
Carthage, IN
Cayuga, IN
Cedar Grove, IN
Cedar Lake, IN
Celestine, IN
Centerpoint, IN
Centerville, IN
Central, IN
Chalmers, IN
Chandler, IN
Charlestown, IN
Charlottesville, IN
Chesterton, IN
Chrisney, IN
Churubusco, IN
Cicero, IN
Clarks Hill, IN
Clarksburg, IN
Clarksville, IN
Clay City, IN
Claypool, IN
Clayton, IN
Clear Creek, IN
Clifford, IN
Clinton, IN
Cloverdale, IN
Coal City, IN
Coalmont, IN
Coatesville, IN
Colfax, IN
Columbia City, IN
Columbus, IN
Commiskey, IN
Connersville, IN
Converse, IN
Cortland, IN
Corunna, IN
Cory, IN
Corydon, IN
Covington, IN
Craigville, IN
Crandall, IN
Crane, IN
Crawfordsville, IN
Cromwell, IN
Cross Plains, IN
Crothersville, IN
Crown Point, IN
Culver, IN
Cutler, IN
Cynthiana, IN

- D -
Cities in Indiana that begin with the letter "D".
Dale, IN
Daleville, IN
Dana, IN
Danville, IN
Darlington, IN
Dayton, IN
Decatur, IN
Decker, IN
Deedsville, IN
Delong, IN
Delphi, IN
Demotte, IN
Denver, IN
Depauw, IN
Deputy, IN
Derby, IN
Dillsboro, IN
Donaldson, IN
Dublin, IN
Dubois, IN
Dugger, IN
Dunkirk, IN
Dunreith, IN
Dupont, IN
Dyer, IN

- E -
Cities in Indiana that begin with the letter "E".
Earl Park, IN
East Chicago, IN
East Enterprise, IN
Eaton, IN
Eckerty, IN
Economy, IN
Edinburgh, IN
Edwardsport, IN
Elberfeld, IN
Elizabeth, IN
Elizabethtown, IN
Elkhart, IN
Ellettsville, IN
Elnora, IN
Elwood, IN
Eminence, IN
English, IN
Etna Green, IN
Evanston, IN
Evansville, IN

- F -
Cities in Indiana that begin with the letter "F".
Fair Oaks, IN
Fairbanks, IN
Fairland, IN
Fairmount, IN
Falmouth, IN
Farmersburg, IN
Farmland, IN
Ferdinand, IN
Fillmore, IN
Finly, IN
Fishers, IN
Flat Rock, IN
Flora, IN
Florence, IN
Floyds Knobs, IN
Folsomville, IN
Fontanet, IN
Forest, IN
Fort Branch, IN
Fort Ritner, IN
Fort Wayne, IN
Fortville, IN
Fountain City, IN
Fountaintown, IN
Fowler, IN
Fowlerton, IN
Francesville, IN
Francisco, IN
Frankfort, IN
Franklin, IN
Frankton, IN
Fredericksburg, IN
Freedom, IN
Freelandville, IN
Freetown, IN
Fremont, IN
French Lick, IN
Friendship, IN
Fulda, IN
Fulton, IN

- G -
Cities in Indiana that begin with the letter "G".
Galveston, IN
Garrett, IN
Gary, IN
Gas City, IN
Gaston, IN
Geneva, IN
Gentryville, IN
Georgetown, IN
Glenwood, IN
Goldsmith, IN
Goodland, IN
Goshen, IN
Gosport, IN
Grabill, IN
Grammer, IN
Grandview, IN
Granger, IN
Grantsburg, IN
Grass Creek, IN
Graysville, IN
Greencastle, IN
Greenfield, IN
Greens Fork, IN
Greensboro, IN
Greensburg, IN
Greentown, IN
Greenville, IN
Greenwood, IN
Griffin, IN
Griffith, IN
Grissom AFB, IN
Grovertown, IN
Guilford, IN
Gwynneville, IN

- H -
Cities in Indiana that begin with the letter "H".
Hagerstown, IN
Hamblen, IN
Hamilton, IN
Hamlet, IN
Hammond, IN
Hanna, IN
Hanover, IN
Hardinsburg, IN
Harlan, IN
Harmony, IN
Harrison, IN
Harrodsburg, IN
Hartford City, IN
Hartsville, IN
Hatfield, IN
Haubstadt, IN
Hayden, IN
Hazleton, IN
Hebron, IN
Helmsburg, IN
Helt, IN
Heltonville, IN
Hemlock, IN
Henryville, IN
Highland, IN
Hillisburg, IN
Hillsboro, IN
Hillsdale, IN
Hoagland, IN
Hobart, IN
Hobbs, IN
Holland, IN
Holton, IN
Homer, IN
Hope, IN
Howe, IN
Hudson, IN
Huntertown, IN
Huntingburg, IN
Huntington, IN
Huron, IN
Hymera, IN

- I -
Cities in Indiana that begin with the letter "I".
Idaville, IN
Indianapolis, IN
Ingalls, IN
Inglefield, IN
Ireland, IN

- J -
Cities in Indiana that begin with the letter "J".
Jackson, IN
Jamestown, IN
Jasonville, IN
Jasper, IN
Jefferson, IN
Jeffersonville, IN
Jonesboro, IN
Jonesville, IN
Judson, IN

- K -
Cities in Indiana that begin with the letter "K".
Kempton, IN
Kendallville, IN
Kennard, IN
Kentland, IN
Kewanna, IN
Keystone, IN
Kimmell, IN
Kingman, IN
Kingsbury, IN
Kingsford Heights, IN
Kirklin, IN
Knightstown, IN
Knightsville, IN
Knox, IN
Kokomo, IN
Koleen, IN
Kouts, IN
Kurtz, IN

- L -
Cities in Indiana that begin with the letter "L".
La Crosse, IN
La Fontaine, IN
La Porte, IN
Laconia, IN
Ladoga, IN
Lafayette, IN
Lagrange, IN
Lagro, IN
Lake Cicott, IN
Lake Station, IN
Lake Village, IN
Laketon, IN
Lakeville, IN
Lamar, IN
Lanesville, IN
Laotto, IN
Lapaz, IN
Lapel, IN
Larwill, IN
Laurel, IN
Lawrenceburg, IN
Leavenworth, IN
Lebanon, IN
Leesburg, IN
Leiters Ford, IN
Leo, IN
Leopold, IN
Leroy, IN
Lewis, IN
Lewisville, IN
Lexington, IN
Liberty, IN
Liberty Center, IN
Liberty Mills, IN
Ligonier, IN
Lincoln City, IN
Linden, IN
Linn Grove, IN
Linton, IN
Little York, IN
Lizton, IN
Logansport, IN
Loogootee, IN
Losantville, IN
Lovett, IN
Lowell, IN
Lucerne, IN
Lynn, IN
Lynnville, IN
Lyons, IN

- M -
Cities in Indiana that begin with the letter "M".
Mackey, IN
Macy, IN
Madison, IN
Manilla, IN
Marengo, IN
Mariah Hill, IN
Marion, IN
Markle, IN
Markleville, IN
Marshall, IN
Martinsville, IN
Marysville, IN
Matthews, IN
Mauckport, IN
Maxwell, IN
Mays, IN
McCordsville, IN
Mecca, IN
Medaryville, IN
Medora, IN
Mellott, IN
Memphis, IN
Mentone, IN
Merom, IN
Merrillville, IN
Metamora, IN
Mexico, IN
Miami, IN
Michigan City, IN
Michigantown, IN
Middlebury, IN
Middletown, IN
Midland, IN
Milan, IN
Milford, IN
Mill Creek, IN
Millersburg, IN
Millhousen, IN
Milltown, IN
Milroy, IN
Milton, IN
Mishawaka, IN
Mitchell, IN
Modoc, IN
Mongo, IN
Monon, IN
Monroe, IN
Monroe City, IN
Monroeville, IN
Monrovia, IN
Monterey, IN
Montezuma, IN
Montgomery, IN
Monticello, IN
Montmorenci, IN
Montpelier, IN
Mooreland, IN
Moores Hill, IN
Mooresville, IN
Morgantown, IN
Morocco, IN
Morris, IN
Morristown, IN
Mount Ayr, IN
Mount Saint Francis, IN
Mount Summit, IN
Mount Vernon, IN
Mulberry, IN
Muncie, IN
Munster, IN

- N -
Cities in Indiana that begin with the letter "N".
Nabb, IN
Napoleon, IN
Nappanee, IN
Nashville, IN
Nebraska, IN
Needham, IN
New Albany, IN
New Carlisle, IN
New Castle, IN
New Goshen, IN
New Harmony, IN
New Haven, IN
New Lebanon, IN
New Lisbon, IN
New Market, IN
New Middletown, IN
New Palestine, IN
New Paris, IN
New Point, IN
New Richmond, IN
New Ross, IN
New Salisbury, IN
New Trenton, IN
New Washington, IN
New Waverly, IN
Newberry, IN
Newburgh, IN
Newport, IN
Newtown, IN
Nineveh, IN
Noble, IN
Noblesville, IN
Norman, IN
North Judson, IN
North Liberty, IN
North Manchester, IN
North Salem, IN
North Vernon, IN
North Webster, IN
Notre Dame, IN

- O -
Cities in Indiana that begin with the letter "O".
Oakford, IN
Oakland City, IN
Oaktown, IN
Oakville, IN
Odon, IN
Oldenburg, IN
Onward, IN
Oolitic, IN
Ora, IN
Orestes, IN
Orland, IN
Orleans, IN
Osceola, IN
Osgood, IN
Ossian, IN
Otisco, IN
Otterbein, IN
Otwell, IN
Owensburg, IN
Owensville, IN
Oxford, IN

- P -
Cities in Indiana that begin with the letter "P".
Palmyra, IN
Paoli, IN
Paragon, IN
Paris Crossing, IN
Parker City, IN
Patoka, IN
Patricksburg, IN
Patriot, IN
Paxton, IN
Pekin, IN
Pendleton, IN
Pennville, IN
Perrysville, IN
Pershing, IN
Peru, IN
Petersburg, IN
Petroleum, IN
Pierceton, IN
Pierceville, IN
Pimento, IN
Pine Village, IN
Pittsboro, IN
Plainfield, IN
Plainville, IN
Pleasant Lake, IN
Pleasant Mills, IN
Plymouth, IN
Poland, IN
Poneto, IN
Portage, IN
Porter, IN
Portland, IN
Poseyville, IN
Prairie Creek, IN
Prairieton, IN
Preble, IN
Princeton, IN
Putnamville, IN

- Q -
Cities in Indiana that begin with the letter "Q".
Quincy, IN

- R -
Cities in Indiana that begin with the letter "R".
Ragsdale, IN
Ramsey, IN
Redkey, IN
Reelsville, IN
Remington, IN
Rensselaer, IN
Reynolds, IN
Richland, IN
Richmond, IN
Ridgeville, IN
Riley, IN
Rising Sun, IN
Roachdale, IN
Roann, IN
Roanoke, IN
Rochester, IN
Rockfield, IN
Rockport, IN
Rockville, IN
Rolling Prairie, IN
Rome, IN
Rome City, IN
Romney, IN
Rosedale, IN
Roselawn, IN
Rossville, IN
Royal Center, IN
Rushville, IN
Russellville, IN
Russiaville, IN

- S -
Cities in Indiana that begin with the letter "S".
Saint Anthony, IN
Saint Bernice, IN
Saint Croix, IN
Saint Joe, IN
Saint John, IN
Saint Mary Of The Woods, IN
Saint Meinrad, IN
Saint Paul, IN
Salamonia, IN
Salem, IN
San Pierre, IN
Sandborn, IN
Santa Claus, IN
Saratoga, IN
Schererville, IN
Schneider, IN
Schnellville, IN
Scipio, IN
Scotland, IN
Scott, IN
Scottsburg, IN
Sedalia, IN
Seelyville, IN
Sellersburg, IN
Selma, IN
Servia, IN
Seymour, IN
Sharpsville, IN
Shelburn, IN
Shelby, IN
Shelbyville, IN
Shepardsville, IN
Sheridan, IN
Shipshewana, IN
Shirley, IN
Shoals, IN
Sidney, IN
Silver Lake, IN
Smithville, IN
Solsberry, IN
Somerset, IN
Somerville, IN
South Bend, IN
South Milford, IN
South Whitley, IN
Spencer, IN
Spencerville, IN
Spiceland, IN
Springport, IN
Springville, IN
Spurgeon, IN
Stanford, IN
Star City, IN
State Line, IN
Staunton, IN
Stendal, IN
Stilesville, IN
Stinesville, IN
Stockwell, IN
Straughn, IN
Stroh, IN
Sullivan, IN
Sulphur, IN
Sulphur Springs, IN
Sumava Resorts, IN
Summitville, IN
Sunman, IN
Swayzee, IN
Sweetser, IN
Switz City, IN
Syracuse, IN

- T -
Cities in Indiana that begin with the letter "T".
Talbot, IN
Taswell, IN
Taylorsville, IN
Tefft, IN
Tell City, IN
Templeton, IN
Tennyson, IN
Terre Haute, IN
Thayer, IN
Thorntown, IN
Tippecanoe, IN
Tipton, IN
Topeka, IN
Trafalgar, IN
Troy, IN
Tunnelton, IN
Twelve Mile, IN
Tyner, IN

- U -
Cities in Indiana that begin with the letter "U".
Underwood, IN
Union City, IN
Union Mills, IN
Uniondale, IN
Unionville, IN
Universal, IN
Upland, IN
Urbana, IN

- V -
Cities in Indiana that begin with the letter "V".
Vallonia, IN
Valparaiso, IN
Van Buren, IN
Veedersburg, IN
Velpen, IN
Vernon, IN
Versailles, IN
Vevay, IN
Vincennes, IN

- W -
Cities in Indiana that begin with the letter "W".
Wabash, IN
Wadesville, IN
Wakarusa, IN
Waldron, IN
Walkerton, IN
Wallace, IN
Walton, IN
Wanatah, IN
Warren, IN
Warsaw, IN
Washington, IN
Waterloo, IN
Waveland, IN
Wawaka, IN
Waynetown, IN
Webster, IN
West Baden Springs, IN
West College Corner, IN
West Harrison, IN
West Lafayette, IN
West Lebanon, IN
West Middleton, IN
West Newton, IN
West Terre Haute, IN
Westfield, IN
Westphalia, IN
Westpoint, IN
Westport, IN
Westville, IN
Wheatfield, IN
Wheatland, IN
Wheeler, IN
Whiteland, IN
Whitestown, IN
Whiting, IN
Wilkinson, IN
Williams, IN
Williamsburg, IN
Williamsport, IN
Winamac, IN
Winchester, IN
Windfall, IN
Wingate, IN
Winona Lake, IN
Winslow, IN
Wolcott, IN
Wolcottville, IN
Wolflake, IN
Woodburn, IN
Worthington, IN
Wyatt, IN

- Y -
Cities in Indiana that begin with the letter "Y".
Yeoman, IN
Yoder, IN
Yorktown, IN
Young America, IN

- Z -
Cities in Indiana that begin with the letter "Z".
Zanesville, IN
Zionsville, IN

LED Signs in Miami Florida

If you're in Miami, or any part of Florida, and you need to get a message to anyone passing by your event or store, an LED Sign is one of the best options. With a full color panel, you can display your logo, the logos of your products, images of happy customers, whatever suits your outdoor advertising campaign best.

The orange traffic control style gets right to the point and tells your customers exactly what they need to know with scrolling text programmed to say whatever you'd like.

Both the full color L.E.D. signs and the traffic control style run on standard power, but have the option of a backup generator if the site does not include electric hookup.

Why I am I, a tech-geek, writing about this? Because my client, Giant Balloon Rental, out of Orlando Florida provides these as well as search lights and helium blimps to complete your outdoor advertising campaign.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The right team makes all the difference

When you're in business, the right team makes all the difference.

No matter how hard you try, you just can't do everything yourself. The decisions you make about who to bring onto your team are key to your success.

I'm not just talking about employees, but consider the various business services you may require.

I often write about a couple of my clients, Common Sense Business Solutions and  Accountability Team LLC because they are just the type of providers that make that ever so critical difference.

There was a customer that had been with Common Sense Business Solutions for 7 years. When this customer was in need of a new CPA, the trust they had developed in Cynthia, the owner of Common Sense Business Solutions, made her the perfect choice for a referral. That referral, was Tanya Higginbotham, of Accountability Team LLC. Tanya asked all the right questions and educated the client on relevant accounting laws and was able to reconcile their records quickly. The client judged her work extremely professional and said her rates were very fair.

When your team needs accounting and tax services, trust Accountability Team LLC. Tanya and Cynthia have the skills and experience that will give you confidence in your financial and tax reports.

Trusted Business Advice

If your business is struggling and you need help, you need an advisor you can trust. You need someone with experience as a business consultant who has successfully coached business owners through hardship and on to thriving success.

You need a business coach that puts the needs of your business before their own needs.

You need a skilled, experienced professional like Cynthia Alloway of Common Sense Business Solutions.

One of the first things she'll do is an assessment of your current financial statements. If your books are broken, then your business will likely stay broken. Fix this first, so you can see what else needs to be fixed.

Cynthia can put in place a customized plan that includes reporting systems and accountability. She can teach you and each member of your team how to play their individual roles in the success of your business.

Don't take my word for it. Visit her website and get in touch with her to get the business help you need.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Burner Parts Tampa

If you have an industrial heating system with Eclipse, Dungs, Pryomation or similar components and you're looking for replacement heater parts, I know just the guy to help you out.

Craig Swanson of Thermal Equipment Systems, Inc. In the business since 1972, Thermal Equipment Systems, Inc. has the experience to help you select the perfect replacement burner part and has access to the manufacturers to smooth the purchasing process.

Thermal Equipment Systems can provide all your industrial heating needs and deals in all of these brands:
  • Eclipse Combustion
  • Antunes Controls
  • Protection Controls, Inc.
  • Karl Dungs, Inc.
  • Ensign Ribbon Burners
  • Dresser Measurement
  • Partlow Corporation
  • Pyromation, Inc.
So, when a part breaks down and you need a replacement, or when you're ready for a new furnace or process oven, Contact Themal Equipment Systems, Inc. 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Tree Fertilization

To properly care for your trees, at some point in their life, they might require fertilizer. Broadcast fertilizer is quickly absorbed by your lawn and may never make it to the root system of the tree.

A professional arborist can perform a deep root feeding that places the required nutrients down where the tree roots can take advantage of their benefits.

One of my clients, Mid Florida Tree Service, does this by injecting fertilizer in a grid, maximizing coverage of the roots system. Sick and declining trees may benefit from several applications each year.

So, if your lawn needs fertilizer, broadcast spreaders and spray-on treatments may work just fine, but if you are trying to feed your tree, let Mid Florida Tree Service help you get those nutrients deep into the soil where they can actually do your tree some good!

Tampa Giant Balloons

Did I ever tell you that my Giant Balloon client serves Tampa?

Giant Balloon Rental actually covers the entire state of Florida with quite a few outdoor advertising options.

The giant balloons come in many shapes and sizes and you can even order a custom balloon if you need it.

Beyond balloons, there are wind dancers, searchlights and LED signs.

So, if your business is in Tampa or the Tampa Bay area and you need to get the public's attention as they drive by or even near your place, get in touch with Giant Balloon Rental for all your open air advertising needs.

Lest I forget, in addition to giant cold air balloons, giant helium balloons and blimps with custom printed banners are also available!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Thermal Equipment Systems, Inc.

I am very pleased to announce that I have another new client. Thermal Equipment Systems, Inc.

This is another customer that I have worked with previously at JH Studios, Inc.

Thermal Equipment offers industrial burners and all the safety and control equipment that goes along with them. In getting to know the business a little, I was intrigued to learn that there are actually ovens made to drive a truck into! In addition to truck-in ovens, these "process ovens" also include walk-in and tunnel ovens.

Why might someone need an industrial burner? Cast molding would be a prime example. It takes a lot of heat to melt your iron or aluminum. Then there's paint baking for heat cured paint. Incineration is another great example. It takes a lot of heat to burn a lot of trash. Metal hardening also requires great heat. Trust someone that's been in the business about as long as I've been alive.

Themal Equipment Systems, Inc. offers products from makers such as Dungs, Eclipse, Ensign, Pyromation and others.

Check out

And watch for changes as I make the site mobile friendly.

Thursday, August 20, 2015


It's kind of funny. I created a Google AdSense account many years ago. It's minimum payout for my US Dollars is apparently $100.00. I am only up to about $34 so far.

Then there's Adfly. I really am not a huge fan of the way it re-directs visitors, but I've earned $0.44 in less than a year, and most of that in the first month. I was amused to see that I still earn pennies from links I created so long ago.

The Adfly payout threshold is only $5.00, so I feel much more likely to actually see that money some day.

I wrote about Alternatives to MTurk, and still get clicks on an adfly link included in that article.

A couple of wordpress blogs

I meant to do this before. I may have, and then forgot. Whatever the case, here goes:

I'd like to link to a couple of wordpress blogs where I also write about a few of my client's industries. The first is Giant Balloons and More that talks about outdoor advertising. My Client,, is the reason I created that one.

The second is Business Coaching I started it specifically for but I also use it for

If you find anything useful in this blog, check those out as well.


Sunday, August 16, 2015

Byron Jones

Byron Jones, like many of us, was a hard working man who found himself suddenly out of a job when he was laid off from the Tampa shipyards in 1976.

Instead of letting that get him down, he decided to start his own business and Mid-Florida Tree Service was born! Among his earliest employees was his son, Tim Jones.

Byron and Tim grew the company by treating their customers right and giving them more than they expected. They knew the importance of each customer and put a high value in customer satisfaction. They passed this value along to their employees.

Many of their employees have stayed with them for 20 years, making the company very much "family".

In 2000, Byron retired and his son, Tim, took over. Tim continues his father's commitment to making customers happy. They live by the motto: Treat every customer as if they were your only customer.

If you have a tree that is overgrown, or a limb or tree that's down and causing problems for your home, or maybe you have a lot that's covered in brush and brambles. Whatever the case, if you need a professional arborist, visit Mid-Florida Tree Service for a free estimate.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Go Fund Me for Spencer the dog

I haven't posted about this recently, and I'm not sure if I mentioned it here. Lately I've been using this blog mostly to talk about my clients and their websites.

Besides me being a business owner, my family and I have a passion for rescuing dogs. We were driving on a highway near our house and saw a dog literally standing in the middle of the road.

We stopped for him and I got out of the car. I realized very quickly that he was in bad shape and needed help. His ribs were showing, he had very little fur and he was covered in bug bites. He had a familiar smell that I recognized as a secondary problem caused by demodex mange.

We took him home and started taking care of him. He's getting much better, but we still need some financial help for him. If you find your way to this blog and have a heart for dogs, please consider giving at

You can see his picture here:

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Space Coast Outdoor Advertising

In Florida, the area around Kennedy Space Center, roughly from Titusville to Melbourne is known as the space coast.

It is from here that every US manned spaceflight was launched.

There's a lot of history in this area and a lot of space related tourism.

It's also the home of the Ron Jon flagship store in Cocoa Beach where you can find pretty much anything you can think of for enjoying the beach.

People drive or fly from all over to see this iconic store and enjoy the Atlantic beach.

If you have a business in this area, you know the importance of attracting both the Beach / Surf  crowd and the space / NASA crowd.

This is the perfect environment for outdoor advertising. Giant balloons catch the eye of tourists as they drive by. LED Signs tell them what you have to offer and Giant Helium balloons catch their attention like searchlights in the daytime. (By the way, you can rent searchlights for after dark too)

My client, Giant Balloon Rental, offers a full selection of outdoor advertising products for the Space Coast and all of Florida.

What's different in a Successful Business

What determines if a business succeeds or fails? Is it a matter of luck, timing, the economy? Cynde Alloway, my client who is a business consultant / business coach, says its much more than that. She says that even in tough economic times, companies can thrive if they stick to a few basics.

Among those basics are

Written Goals
Without written goals, you may lose track of where you are going and what you need to do to get there. Carefully consider your hopes and expectations for your business and write them down.

Low Debt
Debt is expensive. Whenever possible, run your business debt free and even keep an emergency reserve fund available.

Everything changes. Instead of resisting change, embrace it and look for the opportunity hidden within it.

See more Elements of a Successful Business on Cynde's website.

If you see your competition struggling and even failing, don't lose heart. Keep doing what you know is right and welcome their abandoned clients. Treat them right and succeed despite what looks like tough times.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Mid Florida Tree Service

I've recently begun doing some work for Mid Florida Tree Service. I worked with them previously when I was with JH Studios and so when JH and Mid Florida Tree service needed a coder, I was the first choice.

My first order of business was to make the site mobile friendly. It passes Google's test, but I still have a few tweaks before I'll be happy with the final result.

Who is Mid Florida Tree Service?

Mid Florida Tree Service was started in 1976 by Byron Lee Jones. Starting with a pickup, a handsaw and three employees, including his 16 year old son, he began to seek jobs in the Tampa area. Never taking a customer for granted, Byron's honesty and fairness won him many repeat customers. He believed in treating each customer like they were the only customer.

In 2000, Byron retired and passed the business on to his son, Tim. (The one that was 16 and working with him in 1976)

Learn more about Byron, Tim and the entire team at

Monday, July 20, 2015

Character Balloons

So, this month we've dealt with IRS audits and getting help with your accounting software. None of that really matters if you don't have any customers.

How do you get customers? MARKETING, MARKETING, MARKETING!

You've no doubt seen character balloons at businesses throughout your city. Whether that's Jacksonville, St. Augustine, the Palm Coast, maybe Cocoa Beach, Melbourne or Vero Beach.

You can say so much with a character. A picture is worth a thousand words. A giant balloon says so much more. With the Uncle Sam, Flag and Eagle balloons, you can declare your patriotism for Independence day, Veteran's day and Memorial Day. Santa and a Toy Soldier can be combined with a Christmas tree from the specialty balloon line to advertise your Christmas sales or your "Christmas in July" sales.

You may even find a licensed balloon such as SpongeBob to fit your event.

Monkeys and Gorilllas are also popular.

Be sure that outdoor advertising is part of your overall marketing strategy and consider character balloons as part of that strategy,

What does a QuickBooks ProAdvisor do?

What Does a QuickBooks ProAdvisor Actually Do?

You may have heard of a QuickBooks ProAdvisor,  but what does that mean?
QuickBooks, like many powerful pieces of software, is complex and can be configured many different ways depending on the circumstances of the user. Intuit, the company that publishes QuickBooks, offers training and certification so that you know that the person you are hiring knows what they are doing.

I wrote more about this on a Business Consultant website. This is just a taste of what I wrote there.

A QuickBooks ProAdvisor helps a business owner fully benefit from QuickBooks and make the best use of its features.

They make this happen in several ways. The first thing to do is decide what version of the software is best for your business and your circumstances. Next they'll set up QuickBooks to be sure it's done properly. If it's already set up they'll review and correct that setup for you. Whatever unique situations your business faces will be accounted for by the QuickBooks ProAdvisor when your installation is customized. After that, they will set up User Roles that give employees just enough access to perform their duties while keeping your sensitive details protected. To go along with that, your ProAdvisor will train your employees so that they know what their role is able to do, and how to do it efficiently.

Finishing up, they will prepare reports that show you the financial progress of your business and teach you what you need to know to make the most out of QuickBooks to the benefit of your business.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

IRS Audit!

No, I didn't get audited, but I understand that a lot of business owners, or even regular employees, have a strong fear of the  IRS. Sure, if you cheat or don't keep good records, you can end up in a legal mess. So, be honest and be sure you keep all your records. If you don't have a record of a deduction, don't use it. On the other hand, as long as you do have records, then feel free to take deductions. Don't let fear of an audit keep you from taking them. If you get income outside your job or business, report it. The IRS will already know about it because the person that paid you will have reported it. Don't try to be sneaky. You'll just end up regretting it later.

If you hire a CPA to file your taxes, he or she will make sure everything is properly documented. Then, if you're audited, you contact your CPA and let them handle the whole process. Even if it's just a correspondence audit, where they send you a letter asking for explanation, check with your CPA before you reply. Your CPA will have the skills and experience to handle the situation to your advantage.

If you need a CPA and you're in the Tampa or Brandon Florida area, contact Tanya Higginbotham Certified Public Accountant of Accountability Team, LLC.

Your CPA will make sure you get all your documents back when tax filing is done. Make sure you store them safely. If doing so electronically, be sure to keep backups. An audit is a rare thing and shouldn't put you into a panic, but don't take it too lightly. Let your skilled, experienced CPA guide you through the process and even represent you before the IRS.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Where to buy swag

I have written about finding the right accountant, getting a good business coach, and finding the right outdoor advertising system.

I'd like to talk more about "swag". I have mentioned it before because I used to work for JH Studios, Inc who sells Promotional Products

Promo products are those things that companies pass out at tradeshows. Sometimes it's a stress reliever. Other times it's a sticky note pad. I've seen frisbees and dart-men as well.

The great thing about promotional products is that you can achieve a huge number of impressions for your dollar. Studies have shown that when a person finds they no longer need or want the promotional product, they often give it away instead of throwing it away, That gives your advertising a second life!

Make sure you choose a promo product that provides value to your potential customer and has some connection to who you are and what you do.

I still recommend JH Studios because I experienced on a daily basis the level of expertise and follow through they use to ensure your product is delivered on time and perfectly printed.

One of the owners is an excellent artist as well and can help you with a new logo to ensure your brand is well represented on all your signs and printed products.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

How to choose a business coach

Choosing the right business coach might be one of the most important decisions you ever make when it comes to the success of your business.

When an NFL team wins a SuperBowl, sure, the individual players get their glory, but everyone knows it doesn't happen without a great coach. When a team loses, who gets fired? It's the coach. If the world of professional sports understands the importance of great coaching, then the business world should as well.

So, lets take a look at how to hire the right business coach.

Start by asking some questions like "Do you have experience with financial statements?" and "Can you explain financial statements in layman's terms?"

If you use QuickBooks and your coach purports to be a ProAdvisor, ask them about their experience. You don't want a coach that is certified, but not practiced. You need someone who knows it inside and out with a comfort level that only comes from everyday use and familiarity.

Ask about the clients they have served in the past. See if they have experience in your industry. Each industry will have nuanced challenges and opportunities. You want a coach that has experience in your field, and maybe some surrounding fields so he or she knows how your business will interact with your vendors and clients.

Make sure you can relate to and understand your coach. You have to be comfortable with and fully trust your coach. You have to believe the the coach has your best interest at heart.

I may write more about this next month when I continue talking about Business Coaching.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

What Should You Ask Your Accountant

At tax time, when you are considering an accountant to file your taxes for you, there are some questions you might ask to help determine if they are the right accountant for you and your business.

Get a longer list here: Accountability Team

Are you a CPA, an Enrolled Agent, or an unlicensed accountant?
What are your prices and what might cost extra?
Do you offer hourly rates for other services?
What are my deadlines if I don't want to file an extension?
What are my secondary deadlines with an extension?
How do you handle an IRS audit?
How quickly will you respond to my questions?
Can you break down an explanation of a tax return into simple language?

Your accountant or CPA will also ask you questions. Depending on your answers, they may ask more questions. Based on these answers, you will be provided with a list of documents and other details you may need to provide. As they work on your return, additional details may be needed. Be sure they know how to reach you and be sure you make yourself available to them.

Get to know your CPA before tax time to ensure you are comfortable with them and can easily communicate when needed.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Selah Sanctuary-Spencer's Recovery

Selah Sanctuary-Spencer's Recovery

My family and I have fostered dogs for several years. We took some time off after our own dog, Logan, passed away.

Today, God put a new dog into our lives. We named him "Spencer".

Spencer was walking in the middle of the highway (US 41 in Gibsonton FL) and could have been hit. When we stopped for him, he was an instant friend! He has what looks like Demodex (mange) and is very malnourished, but we've dealt with these issues before.

The huge difference: this time we're doing it solo. In the past, we have fostered for Rugaz Rescue, but with crowdfunding becoming so popular, we want to give it a shot on our own.

If you're an animal lover with a few bucks to spare, please visit our GoFundMe page and give whatever you can. If you don't have the cash, but can spread the word, please do that as well.

Let's give Spencer his best shot at a great life and a forever home!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Making pennies

After doing just about nothing for several years, my blog is starting to make about a penny a month with no clicks. Obviously this, in itself, isn't going to make me want to put too much time into blogging, but it shows that a little traffic is starting to flow. I think it's CPM that Google doesn't allow us to talk about, so I'll skip that part.

Since this blog is really geared toward other purposes and the adsense is just an aside, I'm happy to see the pennies coming in. (A penny a day would be nice...)

Daytona Beach Balloon Rental

One of the things my wife and I enjoy is just getting in the car and driving. We started dating in March, so for our dating anniversary we sometimes found our way over to Daytona Beach and would end up right in the middle of bike week.

The only bike I ever owned was a Honda Elite 150 (That's a scooter)

I had ATVs, but that's completely different.

So, all I could do is watch and wish when I saw all the amazing custom bikes riding the Volusia County streets.

That was a lot of years ago. Now that I am in business I have a different perspective on this. Bike week, the Daytona 500, the Coke Zero 400 and all the other NASCAR events are people magnets. With people, comes money to spend.

If you're a business owner in Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach or Port Orange and you'd like to collect on some of this spending, I suggest outdoor advertising with Daytona Beach Balloon Rental.

That's Giant Balloon Rental based in Orlando, but serves the entire state.
In addition to giant advertising balloons, Giant Balloon Rental offers searchlights, LED signs, helium balloons and helium tank rental.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Your reputation is at stake every time you refer someone

Be certain that you know a company well, and that their goods and services are top-notch before you suggest them to a client. You are lending a bit of your own trust to the referred company. You must be certain that they will take good care of your client and leave you better and not worse for having recommended them.

Read more about this issue on Cynthia Alloway's site: The Referral Bomb

Monday, May 18, 2015

Does a small business really need a CPA?

There's a new post on one of my client's sites about whether or not a small business needs a CPA. Every small business is different, but there are some really good reasons that certainly push in that direction.

You can hire an accountant, but they are not the same. The CPA has a lot of  training and a state run test to get their license, and they have to continually update their training and take follow up tests.

Hiring a CPA ensures you have a professional who is qualified and stays up to date on bookkeeping and tax law.

A CPA can evaluate your entire financial situation and make recommendations based on your income and expendatures.

If there is an audit, a CPA can represent you when talking to and dealing with the Internal Revenue Service.

Check out the full article here: Does my small business need a CPA?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Kissimmee Giant Balloons

I've mentioned before that one of my clients offers Giant Balloons to businesses in Orlando Florida. One might have guessed that the same would cater to Kissimmee and St. Cloud.

I'd like to ensure that anyone following or finding my blog knows that Giant Balloon Rental serves the entire state of Florida from Alachua and Altamont Springs to Zephyrhills and Zolfo Springs.

Seriously, the  ENTIRE state. If you're still in doubt, give them a call: 407-968-5139

Altamonte Springs
Anna Maria
Atlantic Beach
Avon Park
Bay Lake
Belleair Beach
Belleair Bluffs
Belle Glade
Belle Isle
Boca Raton
Bonita Springs
Bowling Green
Boynton Beach
Bradenton Beach
Cape Canaveral
Cape Coral
Cedar Key
Center Hill
Cocoa Beach
Coconut Creek
Cooper City
Coral Gables
Coral Springs
Crescent City
Crystal River
Cutler Bay
Dade City
Dania Beach
Daytona Beach
Deerfield Beach
De Funiak Springs
Delray Beach
Eagle Lake
Fanning Springs
Fernandina Beach
Flagler Beach
Florida City
Fort Lauderdale
Fort Meade
Fort Myers
Fort Pierce
Fort Walton Beach
Fruitland Park
Green Cove Springs
Gulf Breeze
Haines City
Hallandale Beach
Hialeah Gardens
High Springs
Holly Hill
Holmes Beach
Indian Harbour Beach
Indian Rocks Beach
Jacksonville Beach
Jacob City
Key Colony Beach
Keystone Heights
Key West
La Belle
Lake Alfred
Lake Buena Vista
Lake Butler
Lake City
Lake Helen
Lake Mary
Lake Wales
Lake Worth
Lauderdale Lakes
Laurel Hill
Lighthouse Point
Live Oak
Lynn Haven
Madeira Beach
Marco Island
Mary Esther
Mexico Beach
Miami Beach
Miami Gardens
Miami Springs
Moore Haven
Mount Dora
Neptune Beach
New Port Richey
New Smyrna Beach
North Bay Village
North Lauderdale
North Miami
North Miami Beach
North Port
Oak Hill
Oakland Park
Orange City
Ormond Beach
Palm Bay
Palm Beach Gardens
Palm Coast
Palmetto Bay
Panama City
Panama City Beach
Pembroke Pines
Pinellas Park
Plant City
Polk City
Pompano Beach
Port Orange
Port Richey
Port St. Joe
Port St. Lucie
Punta Gorda
Riviera Beach
Safety Harbor
St. Augustine
St. Augustine Beach
St. Cloud
St. Marks
St. Pete Beach
St. Petersburg
San Antonio
Satellite Beach
South Bay
South Daytona
South Miami
South Pasadena
Sunny Isles Beach
Tarpon Springs
Temple Terrace
Town & Country
Treasure Island
Vero Beach
Weeki Wachee
West Melbourne
West Miami
West Park
West Palm Beach
Wilton Manors
Winter Garden
Winter Haven
Winter Park
Winter Springs
Ybor City
Yeehaw Junction
Zolfo Springs

Centenary Post

No, I haven't been around for a hundred years!

This is my 100th post on this blog, according to my Blogger dashboard.

It has taken me almost 8 years to reach this milestone. I have, of course, posted several times in other blogs, but this is the first one I started. I would expect now to reach 200 much faster since I am blogging on a much more consistent basis.

One thing I've noticed is that the more I blog the more hits I get, not just on the blog as a whole, but on individual posts. It's like all my activity brings in more visitors to more pages. I did not set out to get rich blogging, but it would be great to see enough traffic on at least one of my blogs to enhance my income through AdSense or some other ad network.

I blog about a lot fo different things. I have a few clients that I promote by talking about how great they and their products are. I am a bit of a geek, so I blog about geeky stuff. When a product or service makes a strong impression on me, I'm likely to mention it, whether it's a positive or negative impression. I have kept my political stuff off this particular blog, but I blog my personal stuff on my other blogs. (See "Tecbrat's Blogs" on the right.)

My next post will be about those giant balloons that you see all over the place advertising things. I've posted about them before, but I need to tell the world that my client covers more than one market.

Friday, April 24, 2015

I am usually very happy with GoDaddy

...but not today.
(Read all the way through, they turned it around.)

Check out this live-chat: (Emphasis mine, only in Blog as such is not available in the Chat)

A product expert will be with you soon. Position in Queue is 1. Thank you for your patience.
You are now chatting with 'Sam'
Sam -
Hey there! Thank you for contacting Sales Chat. My name is Sam, who am I speaking with today?
you -
Good morning Sam.
you -
I am Corry.
Sam -
Hello Corry!
Sam -
how can I help you out today?
you -
On this page:
you -
There is a tab "Domain Deals"
you -
It says"Get the domain that will never go out of style. Just $2.99* was $14.99"
you -
I stepped through an order all the way to the checkout (stopped before processing) but did not see that discount applied. It was $9.99 for the first year and $14.99 for each extra.
Sam -
That is a viral promotion that runs periodically for browsers. We don't have the ability to add that special on our side, but if you find the URL for the special, it allows you to add the domain name to your cart at that price. Those viral promotions are time sensitive and normally are only valid for one-time use. I do not have any more info on that promotion
you -
It's live on your site right now!
Sam -
It's a page that shows up depending on your browser and how you visited the site. I have no ability to add that promotion on my end. It could also be a cached page on your browser, or it could have already been used before.
Sam -
Is there anything else I can help you with today?
you -
You're just going to dismiss me like that?!
Sam -
How else can I help you out today?
you -
"Is there anything else I can help you with today?" is a not so polite way of sing "Go away"
you -
So, your site advertised something, failed to give it to me, and you just don't care?
you -
you -
Can I chat with a supervisor?
Sam -
You can if you'd like, they would also have no ability to add that from our end. Again, it is a customer side only viral promotion.
you -
Let me talk / chat with a supervisor.
Sam -
It can be up to 5 minutes while I get my supervisor for you. I appreciate your patience. One moment

Sam -
Still getting my supervisor, in the meantime I'm checking on what we can do for you.
Sam -
Do you have an account open with us already?
you -
Sam -
May I please get your Customer Number or username, and 4-Digit Go Daddy PIN number to validate into your account?
you -
hold on a moment
Sam -
Sure thing
you -
My account number is ********
you -
I don't know my PIN
Sam -
Click here to find your PIN (link to account security settings)
you -
I'd really rather not type that in chat. I'm in a public place.
Sam -
This chat is very secure, also the PIN is only used by us to validate your ownership of the account. It would help assist you.
you -
But anyone walking by me right now will see my PIN. Tell you what, I'll go to my account and change it, and then change it back later. Just another moment.
Sam -
Sure thing
you -
I just set my PIN to ****
Sam -
Checking on this now. One moment


Sam -
Back on 8/11/2014 you used the $2.99 promotion for That promotion is a one time use only. As a one time courtesy we were able to find and applicable discount for you. That would actually give you the first year for just $1.99
Sam -
Two years would be just $12.34 for (This actually ended up as a better deal than I was looking for)
Sam -
Did you want that on the MasterCard ending in ****?
you -
No, I need to use a ****** card.
Sam -
Click here to show your current payment methods or add a new payment method. (Link to payment methods)
Sam -
Please let me know when you have that added
you -
I was signed in when it showed me that offer. Your system needs an update if it can't tell when an offer has already been used,and therefor not show it to a user.
Sam -
I will notify the appropriate personal with that suggestion.
you -
On second thought, please go ahead and use the MC ****
Sam -
You are accepting our Universal Terms of Service Agreement
Sam -
Domain Name Registration Agreement
Sam -
Can I proceed for the $12.34?
you -
Sam -
That is done and I have sent out a receipt
Sam -
have a great rest of your day!

Actually getting views

This is a bit of a meta-blog post.

My blog has been viewed over 3000 times!

I was very happy to see that my recent posts are actually getting double digit views. Those that have been seriously blogging for a long time might see this as such a small thing, but for me it is significant improvement, and inspiration to continue. After years of neglect and sporadic updates, I finally have content that is generating hits. I hope someone is getting something of value from my posts.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Apple FANBOI glurge

I'm sitting in the library waiting on my computer to run a backup, so I wondered over to the Dewey 005 section. (That's where the computer programming and similar items are shelved. I had to look it up.)

Because my church uses Macs, and I "grew up" on PCs, I picked up a book called "How to Do Everything Mac, Second Edition". I skimmed over the About the Author and About the Technical Editor. Suffice to say that these two people should know what they are talking about when it comes to Macs.

Then, I got to the Introduction. (Page xxi) The first paragraph was such a FANBOI glurge attack, I almost puked myself! It contained phrases like "(new users will be) light years ahead of (PC users)" & "If you're a seasoned PC user, the Mac is so elegant and simple...(your expectations) will change forever" & "It's hard to get pumped up about a PC, but we're talking about a Mac!"
You can read the full intro here

This was almost enough to make me put the book back on the shelf. Sure, there are things I hate about Windows, but the little bit I've used a Mac, there are already things I hate about it. But, if there's any substance to this book, I don't want to, as my church family says, "throw the baby out with the bathwater". I'll either post an update to this, or edit this post if I actually get more into the book.

5/19/2015 UPDATE:
I haven't allowed myself the time to dig into the book yet, but I skimmed the beginning a little and found this hilarious nugget: "Apple's consumer products are intended to be ...stylish...and, above all, affordable." {emphasis mine}

Market Watch says Apple's first affordable product is; it's stock, after a 7:1 split.

I'm going to have a hard time taking this guy seriously if this tone of Apple worship continues.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Be mindful of your personal information

I'm writing this just after tax season, but it'll be here for next year and for years to come. I hope this helps someone.

Identity theft is an issue year round, but it has a peak around tax season because the criminals do everything they can to use your information to defraud the IRS.

Back in 2011, it was reported that over Five Billion Dollars were stolen by ID thieves through the IRS. The problem has ballooned since then. I saw one report that put a 2300% increase on the problem between 2013 and 2014!

I think most of us know to keep our information safe by shredding documents and keeping our computers updated and protected.

Another preventative measure is to file your taxes as early as possible. If a fraudulent return is filed after your legitimate return, it will be rejected as a duplicate. The problem is, the fraudsters know this too, so it's a race.

  • Protect your data
  • Shred your documents
  •  Keep your computer updated
  • Run a good anti-virus and keep it updated
  • File your taxes as early as possible

Read more about how to protect your Tax Refund here: Avoid Tax ID Theft

Windows 8 doesn't suck bad as I thought it would.

My biggest frustration with my previous limited experience with Win8 was the complete change in UI. (that is, User Interface)

Since I was and now am using it on a laptop, and not a touchscreen device, The Start Screen interface felt clunky and odd. I used to be a technician back when Win9x was king, and I really knew my way around that interface. With XP and 7, I would do everything I could to bring my UI back as close as possible to Win98. I like my start button. I like my QuickLaunch area. I expect certain things to be available when I right-click.

Win 8.1 brought back a "Start" button, but it isn't the same. It takes a person to a Start Screen. If I gave it a chance, it'd probably be "okay", but it's still foreign. Fortunately for me, my Toshiba Satellite laptop came with a program called "Pokki Start Menu". It's not a clone, but it's close enough to be familiar. It would be even better if it could replace the start button instead of sitting beside it.

Win 8.1 also allows a user to set their system to go to the desktop by default at startup. Also, clicking the new start button will toggle between the start screen and the desktop as will windows-key+D. So, now that I have my desktop back and I have a 3rd party start menu, I can begin to get over some of my frustrations with the new OS.

As a technician, I have not formed an opinion. I have had little opportunity to do any work on it. I hope it stays that way. As a user for just under a week, I am forming the opinion that Windows 8.1 does not suck as bad as I thought it would.

I do have a bit of a gripe. I assigned IrfanView to open my MP3 files. When I shift+right click an MP3 file now, I don't get an "open with" option. Haven't cared enough to deal with it yet. Other filetypes seem to allow that action / option.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Samsung Galaxy Avant in Windows 8.1 shows "This folder is empty"

So, I was trying to multi-task and do a little work while on a conference call. I plugged my phone into my laptop (Toshiba Satellite, running Windows 8.1) so it could charge. I hadn't done it before, so I also wanted to verify that it was working as a data device. I went to "This PC" (That's like "My Computer" to us old Win9x guys). There it was, "Brat Phone" I double clicked it and got "This folder is empty"

So, I started doing Google searches for it and found pretty much nothing. I was starting to think there was some kind of compatibility issue between the Galaxy Avant and Windows 8, but figured that if there were, someone else would have blogged about it or asked a question in a forum by now.

Then it crossed my mind, During a phone call, the Avant (and presumably many other Android devices) will go to the lock screen. The call continues, but all other functions of the phone are locked. As soon as I put in my unlock pin, and then went back to "This PC", the folders were available on my device. (actually, the device shows up, when you click it there is a drive "inside" it, and there are folders on that drive.)

Problem solved.

Make sure your phone is not on the lock screen when you are trying to access it through Windows 8

Thursday, April 9, 2015

What is a business coach, anyway?

I've mentioned in a couple of posts that one of my clients is a business coach, but I'm not sure if I made it clear exactly what that means.

So, what exactly is a business coach? What does a business coach actually do?

A business coach is someone with knowledge and experience who can look at a business with an outside perspective and find areas to improve that the business owner might not have seen. Often, a business owner is skilled in a particular field, but has no business training at all. A business coach helps to fill that gap. The business coach can get the business set up with easy to use accounting software, get the software set up correctly, and teach the owner and employees how to use it. The business coach will also implement accountability systems to keep everything running smoothly. Monthly follow ups are often used to monitor and adjust a strategy.

Business coaching is often thought of as something for struggling businesses, but any business can benefit from the expertise and understanding of someone who's made a career out of helping businesses to prosper.

Of course, I'm talking about Cynthia Alloway of Common Sense Business Solutions.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Helium Tank Rental

If you're planning a party and want hundreds of helium balloons, then those little disposable / recyclable tanks that only do 50 balloons at a time just won't cut it.

If you're trying to advertise with those giant helium balloons or blimps, you also need something more substantial.

Maybe you want to sell Mylars, and need the gas to inflate them.

No matter your reason, if you're in the Orlando area, get in touch with my client, to rent a helium tank.

Need it delivered, ask them about Helium Tank Delivery as well.

Giant Balloon Rental

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


Often, when a web designer or web developer needs a new web host, they will begin searching the web for web hosting reviews. Too often, the "review" sites are thinly veiled affiliate marketing sites.

How do you know if the review site you're looking at is legitimate? I may not have the perfect answer for you, but I have one item that is a dead giveaway for me.

If the "review" is newer than 2012 and has anything positive to say about any EIG brand host, I dismiss the entire site. What's EIG brand? That's Endurance International Group. They buy up other hosting companies and keep running them under the old name.

That brings me to HostGator. HostGator used to be a great host. They hired Linux admins that knew what they were doing and their systems ran right most of the time. This isn't to say there were never any problems. I had to deal with failing hard drives on a couple of occasions, and those weren't handled the best, but for the most part, they did a good job and were responsive to customer requests.

Then it happened.

Monday, March 16, 2015

International Business

In the age of the internet, just about anyone can do business internationally. Companies like UPS and DHL even make it possible to ship all over the world.

There comes a time though, that your international operations require a presence in the new land. When that time comes, there are several issues to consider. The professionals at Accountability Team can help you make that a seamless transition.

You'll need to make sure you don't violate any U.S. Laws or any laws in the new country. You have to stay informed of changing rules and laws as governments change and get replaced in unstable regions.

Some countries allow you to do business, but make it difficult to transfer your earnings back to a U.S. bank. Trust someone with experience to guide you through this maze of regulation.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

What does a financial counselor do?

Just as a business coach can help a business run more smoothly and earn more profit, a financial counselor can help your family run more smoothly and better manage the money that comes into your lives.

When faced with high medical expenses or job loss, a person might not know what to do next. When home foreclosure seems eminent, and the car is at risk of repossession, bankruptcy might begin to look attractive.

Sometimes a family has plenty of income, but there's just more going out than coming in.

A financial counselor can help identify waste, develop a spending plan and show you how to eliminate your debt.

Debt, or more specifically the interest you pay on debt, is probably the most detrimental factor on any person's finances. If you're paying late-fees, that just adds to the trouble.

Financial Counseling is not only for those in hardship though.

If you're just starting out, graduating High school or College, getting married, or retiring, a financial counselor will have good advice for the next stage of your life. Maybe you have experienced sudden wealth and need direction in being a great manager of your newly acquired resources. Financial counseling can help you map out a clear path, so that you make decisions confidently with a plan for your future

One of my clients, Common Sense Business Solutions, offers these services. Cynthia Alloway is a Dave Ramsey Certified Counselor. Check out her website and see if she can help you be a master over your money instead of being a slave to debt.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Promotional Products

I mentioned before that I used to work for JH Studios, Inc.

I am still good friends with the owners and wanted to mention them today. You see, while I was with them the company evolved from a print broker and web design company into a promotional products distributor. It may seem an odd development, but since I lived it, I can see the logical progression in it.

JH Studios provides excellent customer service with a thorough step by step process to ensure the customer's order is delivered on-time with the correct imprint.

You'd be amazed at the amount of clients that found their way to JH Studios after another company had let them down.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Google Voice

I'll try to give an actual review later on, but I just wanted to post here that I am trying Google Voice. If any of my customers stumbles into this site looking for me, or one of my readers would like to become a customer, my Google Voice number is 813-551-BRAT (551-2728)

I was at first happy just to get a number in my area code. (I am near Tampa, Florida) Then, I was doubly glad to get a mnemonic that fits my company.

So, there it is. Call me if you need me!

In case you don't know, Google voice is, among other things, a call forwarding service where a user can have whatever phone they choose ring when a call is received on the GV number. For me, that's typically going to be my personal cell-phone. I give my customers fairly direct access to me if they need me.

I forwarded my G Voice number to my cell phone with call screening turned on. By the time I could answer my cell phone and listen to the caller's name, it had gone to voicemail. This only happened once, but that was enough. Can't inconvenience my customers like that. I turned off call screening and so far I like this service.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Tampa CPA

There's a client I have not said much about because I haven't had the opportunity to meet her face to face. I know her only through Cynthia Alloway, of whom I've written quite a bit,

This client is Tanya Higginbotham.

Because of her affiliation with Cynthia, I have complete trust in her. She has 30 years of accounting experience, with 15 of those as a Certified Public Accountant. Remember, a CPA is more than just an accountant. A CPA must have at least a Bachelor's Degree specifically in Accounting and they must pass a four part exam about tax prep, accounting, auditing, business law and lots more, plus require continuing education.

Tanya was a partner in an accounting firm where she managed operations and staffing, was in charge of software integration and built client relationships. 

You can find out more about Tanya on her profile page here: Tampa Area CPA

Business Advisor

I'd like to talk more about my client, Cynthia Alloway.

She's been in the business coaching and advising industry for over 20 years, helping hundreds of small businesses survive and thrive in Hillsborough County.

Before that, she worked in construction, managing a 40 man group of engineering technicians. She led them from a position of least profitable to one of the most profitable teams nationally in just one year.

She realized she could translate this success into other industries and help a multitude of clients. She began her own business that later became knows as "Common Sense Business Solutions." That name was chosen after hearing over and over from clients that her service injected much-needed common sense into otherwise difficult business situations.

With a teacher's heart and years of experience as a QuickBooks Pro Advisor and a Dave Ramsey Financial Counselor, Cynthia is determined to help her clients succeed.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Advertising Results

Online, the most important aspect of marketing is probably SEO. Well, you have to have an intelligently designed website that's attractive and easy to use, but if no-one can find it, it doesn't do you any good. People have to know you exist before they can give you any business.

Offline, there are other ways to get results from your advertising efforts. I often write about my client, GiantBalloonRental, because in spite of the name, this company offers just about any kind of outdoor advertising you can think of.

Just like  a nice website is important, a nice office or showroom is important to your customers, as is a great selection of merchandise or services, and a great customer experience with friendly helpful people. But, if no one knows you exist, they never have a chance to experience your excellent products.

A multi-pronged approach is most likely to be effective. If you don't have a website, get one. If you do, make sure it has good SEO. (SEO is Search Engine Optimization.) Make sure your storefront is clean and presentable. Make sure your permanent sign is clean and well lit. Find occasions to rent giant balloons and set them up in front of your store. Try the flailing wind tubes and tube men too. Once you have your customer's attention, give them a little more information and enticement with a full color LED sign. If you're store is open after dark, it's time to bring out the big guns, Skytracker Searchlights. Some call them Spot lights.

Spotlights are often used for grand openings and premieres,  but they are excellent for any event where you need to draw attention from miles away.

Orlando Spotlight Rental

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Corporate Tax Returns

Each tax season, corporations need to minimize their tax burden to maximize their actual realized profits. Choosing the right team to prepare your taxes is an important decision. In addition, you must be prepared to provide all the right documents to your tax preparation specialists.

Make sure you have your banks statements for all your accounts and your payroll reports. Remember to gather all your w-2s and w-3s. Pull together your 1099s from all your contractors.

When you purchase fixed assets, real estate or vehicles, keep your receipts and present them to your prep-team.

Any pending IRS notices are of extreme importance.

See more suggestions and contact an experienced tax prep team at

Accountability Team LLC provides tax services to business and individuals with a client focused approach that takes the one of a kind situations of each client into consideration to ensure the best outcome each tax season.

Financial Counselor

I wrote about my client, Common Sense Business Solutions, who among other things does business coaching.

Today I want to write about a more personal aspect of her (Cynthia's) business. That is Financial Counseling which often comes at the most difficult time in a person's life.

For an individual or couple deep in debt, being harassed by persistent debt collectors and even considering bankruptcy, a skilled, experienced financial counselor is an invaluable aid.

Financial hardship can be the most disruptive event a marriage can face. Don't let your relationship be destroyed when a counselor is available to help resolve these issues.