The Biz of Pacelinebiz

Turning things on end to achieve results!

Posts Tagged ‘Lists

Answers Please

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I Need Answers

I Need Answers

  • Why is it that when the fan on your car is in the off position it stills blows cold or hot air on you?  It never used to be that way.   Is this an example of better technology?
  • Why is coffee at most restaurants served just below the boiling point?
  • Why does it seem like “certain restrictions” apply to everything?
  • Why is the self-serve tub of ketchup usually empty at fast food restaurants?
  • Why do they call chicken nuggets, chicken?  They should be called imitation, pasteurized, substitute chicken product in nugget form.  Aren’t they made of 58% newspaper and the rest is equal parts animal by-product, partially hydrogenated palm kernel oil, saw dust, water, yellow dye #32 and high-octane lighter fluid?
  • Does anyone else think that Comedian Jim Gaffigan has made almost as much from hot pockets as the hot pocket company did?
  • Is virtual reality for people who can’t handle reality?  It seems to me that it is an exercise in fooling oneself.  Are we a world of fools?
  • I will answer this one myself — Pokemon Go?  NO!
  • Does anyone else miss full service gas stations besides me?
  • Does time move slower from Monday night to Thursday morning than it does from Friday night to Monday morning?

I hope I can get my questions answered and I hope you get your questions answered as well.  Have a great week.

 

Written by pacelinebiz

August 21, 2016 at 8:01 am

Don’t Call Us We’ll Call You

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Obsolete

Obsolete

No, I am not giving you the stiff arm. I am no longer in possession of a traditional land line telephone number.  As of early June I cut the cord to the land line and now we rely on our cell phones.  This move was made easier since our 2 year contract was up and in the past two years the cell phone reception has improved.

This elimination of a seldom used resource saved about $34 per month. This is not a large sum of money but why pay for something that provides no value?  The question you might ask is; what are we going to do with the $408 annual savings? Lucky for you I have a list!  Check it out below.

  • Pay for a modest a weekend getaway – the saving should cover the cost of a hotel for two nights and money for activities. I don’t have to add in dinner as a cost since we normally go out to eat on Friday and Saturday night.
  • Four new tires for one of our cars – not sexy but I would rather have fresh rubber on my ride than a useless land line that only gets calls from telemarketers.
  • Trick out my bike with lightweight wheels – replace MPH that is lost by aging with technology!
  • Drive 4,896 miles for “free” at $2.50 per gallon and at 30 MPG.
  • Buy about eight candy bars per week every year at $1 each. Not recommended but you COULD do it.
  • Sponsor a child overseas for $1 a day.
  • Contribute half of it to a good cause and use the rest to pay down debt.
  • Save the $34 each month at 4% and in 15 years you would have $8,367.10 to blow however you like.
  • Depending on your age, buy a term life insurance policy for $100,000 to $300,000 face value.
  • Get the neighbor kid to cut your grass every other week for six months. I like that idea!
  • Buy a chair for the living room that only you are allowed to sit in like Archie Bunker.
  • Buy a gift for your spouse and treat her like she deserves – unlike Archie Bunker.

Maybe you can find a way to save a few bucks each month and have fun deciding what to do with it. Have a great week.

Ten Things To Do Next Weekend

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Summer

Summer

We are approaching the mid-point of summer and perhaps you are running out of ideas for what to do keep things fresh and different on the weekends. Good news; I have a list of ten things you can do that you probably haven’t thought of that might interest you.

  1. Go fishing – why not? Sitting on the shore under a tree sipping a beverage with some tunes on and snacks of your choosing is a lot like being on the couch. On Monday you can tell people you went fishing and impress your friends for having diverse interests.
  2. Complete a home improvement project. Choose something that will not take too long but still can brag about. How about put up a clothes line in the back yard? You can say you are doing your part for conserving energy and if you do it right it can double as a runner for your pooch.
  3. Go to a flea market and browse. You can people watch, find a treasure and snack. That sounds like a winning combination and your spouse might like it too so the bonus points will rack up.
  4. Go to the city park and take in a free concert. You are supporting the arts and being community minded. That is another great way to sound more interesting to your friends. Pretty soon they won’t think you are a boring Neanderthal who only watches baseball.
  5. Take a trip to the town down the road and go to their local museum or other attraction. You might learn something and then you can also eat at their local restaurants that might be new and different. Your spouse may also like this.
  6. In case it is going to be a rainy weekend plan to clean out your garage, closet or basement. You need to do this any way and if you clean out your closet you can donate the clothes to charity. After you drop off the clothes you can have lunch or dinner and the nearby eatery.       You deserve it you were charitable!
  7. Another good idea if it is going to be a bad weather weekend is to make that old recipe that takes too long to prepare during the hectic week. If no recipes excite you, bake bread for the first time or the first time in while.
  8. Paint your bathroom or other room to give your house a little extra pop for the rest of the summer. Small things can make a big difference.
  9. If you are able in your neighborhood, have a small bonfire and invite your neighbors to an evening of trash talking and bragging how great you were back in the day. Of course there will be food and beverages to kick things up a notch.
  10. Work on a craft project to get a jump on Christmas gifts. Nothing says I love you more than a handmade sweater, quilt or if you are less ambitious a couple of pot holders. If you are old enough, you can relive your youth and make the kids some tie dyed T-Shirts.

I hope this list will get you thinking of things to do for next weekend. Have a great week preparing for something different.

The Upside Of Getting Sick

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I don't Feel So Good

I Don’t Feel So Good

As I write this I am in the early stages of a cold.  I couldn’t figure out last night why I was so bothered with some nasal passage clutter.  I thought maybe this was my reaction to high pollen levels.  I was wrong about that and I found out what was wrong today when I tried to have a conversation on the phone and my voice was “compromised”.

So, now that I know what is wrong; what to do about it?  Obviously I will blog about it but what else?  The proper thing is to rest and drink plenty of fluids and perhaps take a pain reliever-fever reducer.  After I write this I believe I will be heading to bed for some shut-eye.  I might go to the post office and finish a load of laundry but after that I will be powering down for a nap.  Of course I need to cut the grass and ride my bike so there will be a deal I need to make with myself.

Assuming I eventually succumb to the call of the soft, fluffy, welcoming bed; what can I expect to do after my rest is over?  This leads me to my topic; the upside of getting sick.  In delineating the positives that come from dealing with the common cold I shall use a list.

  • I can use it as fodder for a blog
  • I can use a bullet point list
  • I don’t have to shave and no one will give me grief
  • I can pretend that I am not sick but just being lazy in an effort to “stick it to the man”
  • It gives me an excuse to watch season 2 of Family Affair on Hulu without repercussions from my wife
  • Chicken soup is on the house!
  • Household chores will have to wait or be assigned to a lawn service or the neighbor boy
  • Watch baseball day and night – wait I do that all the time
  • I can sleep in late without guilt assuming I won’t need to get up for another reason
  • In seven to ten days you recover so I can enjoy some down time to recharge

Have a great week; I will be fighting a cold.

 

Written by pacelinebiz

May 22, 2016 at 8:04 am

Ten Things Every Business Owner Should Know

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The Secret Formula

The Secret Formula

I have created a list of important questions that every business owner should know about their company.  These might not be the most important, and the list is far from comprehensive, but they are definitely things that should have your attention.  Below is the list and after the list a few comments to make you think.

  1. What is the best source of revenue?
  2. What is your biggest expense?
  3. What is the biggest hurdle holding you back from being better?
  4. What is your most profitable product or service and why?
  5. Who is your best customer?
  6. Who is your worst customer?
  7. What do you do best?
  8. What makes you different from the competition?
  9. Would you buy from you?
  10. Why do your customers buy from you?

Items one and two on the list are similar and are critical to understand since they are most significant to your bottom line.  Your biggest expense is where you should start first when looking to cut costs.  For many businesses this is cost of goods (Materials) or it is labor costs.

Item three is good to know because it is restricting you and by alleviating it you will soar to new heights.  This is probably the ability to generate more sales or government regulation for many businesses.  This is especially true for small businesses since they usually don’t have the luxury of full-time sales force or compliance department.  This task is handled by the owner or someone who is not skilled or trained in sales or government compliance.

Item four can be easy to quantify in terms of profitability but could be a mystery as to why.  I urge you to get to the bottom of why it is most profitable because there is a good chance that you have hit on something that differentiates you from the competition. This is the “why you stand out from the crowd” answer.  That is gold.

Items five and six are also similar and you need to know why.  For your worst customer you may want to consider what you could do to spend less time with them and more with the best customer.  This can be a type of customer not a specific name of one.  What attributes are associated with the best and the worst.  Getting rid of the worst can be addition by subtraction.

Item seven might be the answer to item four.  Find this out and do more of it and customers will come your way and be happy and spend more and be more loyal.  That is why it is gold if you know the answer.  If you don’t why or are not sure – ask some of the customers who buy your most profitable product or service.

Item eight is linked to number seven.

If you can’t answer yes to number nine then you need to correct that immediately.

For number ten if you don’t have a good idea – ask them.  You might be surprised by what they tell you.  It is information you will need to act upon depending what they say.

Have great week.

Underappreciated Tools Of The Trade

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All Stars in action

All Stars in action

Last August I wrote about the tools of my trade and today I am going to write about some underrated tools that I take for granted.  After today I vow to do a better job in paying these tools the respect they deserve.

My list begins with a free version of a pdf printer.  I use it to print to a pdf file rather than to a piece of paper.  The version I use allows me to append or add-on to the original file so that I can create a multi page document from various sources.  I use this almost daily so it is definitely something I could not do without.

Along the same lines is a free pdf converter program.  I use this less often but when I do it is extremely valuable.  This software will convert a pdf file to a jpg file which I use when I see an article in my local paper that is about a friend or business associate.  I convert it and send the jpg picture file to them so they can use it for their social media like Facebook or LinkedIn.  Of course they can also print the picture and frame it depending on how significant the occasion.

A Canon flatbed scanner.  The model is; CanoScan LiDE 25.  I bought this in 2006 when I started my business for about $50 and it is still working and I use it several times per week as a scanner or copier.  Before I got my multi-function printer it was the only way for me to make a copy.  Once I upgrade to Windows 10 I think it will have to be retired since I doubt there will be a printer driver for it.  This may have been the best $50 I ever spent on a business product.

A Logitech wireless keyboard and mouse.  I also bought his when I started my business in 2006 and they both still work flawlessly.  I can’t remember the price but I think it was around $40 for the set.  The keyboard is especially nice since I need a full size keyboard for my hunt and peck typing skills.  It also has the accountant’s numeric keypad which is also invaluable.  What can I say, I get excited about little things.

The final thing on my list is a 21 inch monitor I bought in 2009 to help when I am working from home.  It was essential when I had a smaller laptop screen but even now with my 15 inch laptop display I use it full-time when I am not on the road.

Honorable mention:

  • 500 gigabyte Toshiba external hard drive
  • Midland 13 port, powered USB hub,
  • Brother multi-function printer (Fax/Scan/Copy/Print)

If you don’t use these tools you might want to consider doing so to ramp up your productivity at a low-cost.  Have a great week.

Written by pacelinebiz

April 17, 2016 at 8:01 am

Spring Has Sprung And Summer Is On My Radar

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This is better than snow

This is better than snow

Spring arrived just after midnight at 12:30 A.M. last Sunday. I hope you have enjoyed the first week. It was the second week of daylights savings time and we are rapidly hurtling towards the first day of summer – I can’t wait. Since we are heading towards warmer weather I thought I would break out a favorite topic – things to do as the temperature rises. Read what I wrote in previous years here, here and here.

This year I will have my list of usual things but will try to add a few more challenging items to my list. Before I begin let me tell you that harvesting veggies from my garden will appear on the list again. I have changed my strategy a little bit after a few years of misguided planting. I am going to plant few, if any, tomato plants since they have not grown well the past couple of years and they don’t last very long after picking. I am going to ramp up my hot pepper production because they always seem to grow well and I can pickle them and they will last a long time. I canned about 9 quarts last summer and I am still enjoying them on sandwiches.

I will start with my list of challenges:

  • Go on a vacation that encompasses at least 4 business days
  • Cut down 6 trees that do not belong near my house – this will involve a chain saw
  • Go to a cultural event for my wife’s sake (let’s keep that a secret between you, me and the internet)
  • Be more adventurous when picking restaurants for our weekend dinners
  • Ride my bike once per week with my wife to help her improve and for more quality time together

My “usual suspects”

  • Go to a major league and minor league baseball game
  • Cook lunch on the grill on Saturday afternoons while listening to Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 on Satellite radio
  • Ride my bike on the Silver Comet Trail as often as possible
  • Plant and harvest a bumper crop of hot peppers
  • Take Jimmy Sad Eyes to the dog park so he can romp with reckless abandon

I hope I can accomplish all that is on my list and more. I will keep you posted on how things are going. Have a great week.

Written by pacelinebiz

March 27, 2016 at 8:01 am