ABRA wants tavern customers to have a good time and to keep the noise down

Customers go to bars, taverns, and nightclubs to unwind, relax, and have a good time. This is good. However, the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) is encouraging ABC licensees of restaurants, taverns, nightclubs, hotels and multipurpose facilities to learn about and comply with D.C. noise laws.

District ABC noise laws (D.C. Official Code 25-725) prohibit on premise establishments from producing any sound, noise, or music of such intensity that it can be heard in any premises other than the licensed establishment with a few exceptions, which includes areas that are in certain commercial zones.

The Noise Control Act prohibits individuals and businesses from generating noise outside their property that exceeds maximum noise levels of 60 decibels in commercial or light-manufacturing zones at nighttime. Other limits include 55-70 decibels depending on the area and time of day.

It should also be noted that ABRA recommends ABC on premise establishments regularly verify whether they are compliant with District noise laws by listening outside their establishment to ensure noise is not emanating from the premises.

As part of the campaign, ABRA has sent letters to on premise establishments and posted information on its website about noise law compliance. In addition, officials from the Noise Task Force—a joint initiative between ABRA, the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA), and the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD)—will be increasing unannounced visits to establishments during the hours of 10 p.m. and 3 a.m.

ABRA states that during compliance checks, officials from DCRA will stand outside of establishments with a sound meter and take a number of readings to establish the decibel level of the sound emanating from businesses. Businesses will be notified by officials if they are exceeding noise limits. DCRA will issue a warning for a first-time offense of the Noise Control Act. A second offense of the Noise Control Act will result in a citation from DCRA, which is a $1,000 fine.

In addition to DCRA checks, members of the Noise Task Force will continue to respond to noise complaints. Members of the public can file a noise complaint about an ABC licensed establishment online or call (202) 329-6347. ABC licensees and the public can visit ABRA’s website to learn more about District noise laws.

There are many great establishments in the metro area that serve great food and alcoholic beverages in a great customer service environment. The law requires ABRA to make certain that all customers enjoy the same level of entertainment without disturbing people who are not members of the party.

Never drink and drive.

Lifestyles shift

Whether you’re ready or not, as life changes, so do your housing needs. Families grow. Careers unfold.

One way or another, your circumstances change, and you may find yourself looking for a more comfortable home, one that’s in a new locale, or just a better place for your current living pattern.

The home financing process has changed, too. Your lender can make moving to your next home easier. The vast menu of home financing options now available includes fast approval decisions, low down payment programs, and flexible rate, term, and closing cost options.

Financing a home is not a once-in-a-lifetime decision, and the financing package you used to buy your first home may not meet your needs the next time around. An experienced home mortgage originator will help you find a home financing solution that supports your current and future homeownership goals.

The majority of American homeowners purchase multiple homes in their lifetimes. Each time you buy a home, you need to reevaluate your needs and goals. So whether you are trading in your first home for a larger one nearby, relocating for the tenth time, or looking to move to a new area for a lifestyle change, your lender is here to help you reach your dreams.

Assembling the right TEAM

Real estate agents make it their business to know everything about communities and the homes within them. A good real estate agent can:

Establish what you want in a home. Communicating your desires is essential to helping your real estate agent find you the right home.
Search the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and other resources for homes that match your needs.
Show you appropriate homes.
Provide valuable information on communities, comparable values of neighboring homes, tax rates, and building code regulations.
Help you formulate an offer on the home you want to buy.
Act as an intermediary between you and the seller, smoothing the negotiating process.
When you’ve got a good list of names, interview at least two or three of the agents. In addition to having experience in the area where you hope to buy your home, the agent you choose should be trustworthy and easy to talk to. Tell them what you’re interested in and ask if they can provide some additional information about area schools, taxes, or some other special interest. Then see how quickly they respond and how accurately they follow your request. Once you’ve selected an agent, stick with that agent even when you’re looking at homes listed by other agencies. A good agent will make it his or her business to be familiar with all the listings in your chosen area. Contacting a different real estate agent simply because you’re attracted to a listing of theirs is counter-productive when you’ve built a level of familiarity and trust with your selected agent.

This article links to several different real estate agents in Indiana who are exceptional at what representing buyers and sellers.

Lehigh University students get new housing service

Lehigh University is partnering with Places4Students.com, a service that specializes in dealing with all aspects of off-campus student housing. The service includes many features that can be used by both the students and their potential landlords.

The university desired to have an off-campus housing solution for students that would link them with property owners and managers, while maintaining an organized database of properties available for listing.

Places4Students.com replaces the university’s previous housing service and features a website that gives both the students, landlords, and property managers 24-7 access. The property managers can post pictures, maps, and links to their offerings. While students can perform rental searches, post sublet info, and view roommate profile listings.

In addition, students can filter searches based on personal preferences and price range, seek the newest rentals available, and also search for roommates or post a listing looking for one..

Happy 278th St. Patrick’s Day America!

It’s the 278th St. Patricks Day. Happy 278th St. Patricks Day America!

Happy 278th St. Patrick’s Day America! Did you know that the first recorded parade anywhere in America was in Boston in 1737. In Ireland, the Irish have been celebrating the feast of St. Patrick since the ninth century.

This year it’s Monday, March 17th! With many being bit by the leprechaun earlier in time for the many parades through the country beginning today. The oldest and largest of the St. Paddy’s Day parades in the Western Hemisphere, dating back to 1762 — New York City’s St. Paddy’s Day Parade — steps off Fifth Avenue in New York City Saturday, March 16th fourteen years before the Declaration of Independence (NYC’s oldest cultural and religious parade, 252 years ago but 253 St. Patrick’s Day PARADE EVENTS AGO).

According to a PinkNews.com article, New York and Boston mayors plan to boycott St Patrick’s Day parades in 2014 due to ban on gay marchers by the organizers. St. Patrick’s Day is known traditionally as a religious holiday honoring the patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick as well as a celebration of the Irish culture.

Interestingly, the original color associated with Saint Patrick was blue. The color green and its association with Saint Patrick’s Day began in the early 17th century with the use of green ribbons and shamrocks to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. It is known that Saint Patrick used the symbolic shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish.

Although not a legal holiday in America, Saint Patrick’s Day, is celebrated throughout the country. It is observed as a celebration of Irish and Irish American culture. Celebrations include prominent displays of the color green, eating and drinking, religious observances, and numerous parades. The holiday has been celebrated on the North American continent since the 1763.

One of the longest-running and largest Saint Patrick’s Day parades in North America that occurs each year is in Montreal. The Canadian city flag includes a shamrock in its lower-right quadrant. The annual celebration has been organized by the United Irish Societies of Montreal since 1929. The parade has been held annually without interruption since 1824.

However, St. Patrick’s Day itself has been celebrated in Montreal as far back as 1759 by Irish soldiers in the Montreal Garrison following the British conquest of New France.

More information including my favorite Irish Soda Bread Recipe and additional resources is at the AllThingsDigitalMarketing “Happy 278th St. Patrick’s Day America” blog post

Stay-at-home mom business ideas – part 1

When a woman chooses to become a stay-at-home mom she dramatically alters her career path, usually by completely exiting the workforce for several years, if not permanently.

While some women choose to pursue work from home opportunities, there are few reputable companies offering reliable telecommuting or home-based positions.

Many women who would like to maintain a career while staying home with their small children have no idea where to turn. Just like Lisa Marcia, author of A Work at Home Mom’s Ultimate Guide to Building a Business, Blog and Brand, most moms are just looking for a way to stay home with their little ones while earning extra income doing something they love. Luckily, there are several small business ideas suitable for stay-at-home moms.

Administrative Consulting or Virtual Assisting

Virtual assistants usually provide remote administrative or technical assistance to clients from a wide range of industries and business sectors. Some VAs also work as virtual personal assistants, helping their clients with travel arrangements, scheduling and other miscellaneous tasks.

Administrative consultants differ from virtual assistants in that they play more of an advisory and directional support role in their client’s businesses.

This type of business is great for a stay-at-home mom, because it allows her to take on the number of clients or independent contracts that suit her own availability. People in this line of work often arrange part-time child care or establish quiet times at home during which they can communicate with clients who require phone calls or teleconferences.

The majority of clients, however, are comfortable communicating via email or through other web-based project management platforms.

Freelance Writing

Freelance writing is another great business venture for a stay-at-home mom. There are hundreds of reputable online media outlets that contract with people who have journalism backgrounds as well as mid-career professionals willing to share their knowledge in Internet-based magazines and newspapers.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of moms have found success as “mommy bloggers,” a term that generally refers to website owners who journal about everything from homeschooling to recipes. While starting and maintaining a blog that pulls in a reliable income is hard work, those who have achieved success with this type of home based business enjoy unparalleled flexibility and freedom.

Home Day Care

Many stay-at-home moms spend countless hours designing home-based preschool curricula, planning field trips and outings, preparing healthy meals and snacks, and setting up elaborate playrooms and outdoor play areas. With a few certifications courses and state license, some of those same moms open their doors to other infants and toddlers to establish a home day care.

Home-based preschools are attractive to many working parents as well as other stay-at-home moms who prefer a more personalized childcare setting. Some home day cares even function as cooperatives in which groups of parents pool their money for resources.

Read Stay-at-home mom business ideas – part 2 for more business ideas and links to helpful resources.

The DC Snow Team battles the fourth major snow event of the year

The District of Columbia Storm Team went into full deployment Sunday, March 16, 2014 for Saint Patrick’s Day Snowstorm as Mayor Vincent Gray’s administration battles the fourth major snow event of the year.

Residential street sweeping will be suspended Monday and Tuesday, March 17 and 18, 2014. Thursday, March 20, 2014 is first day of spring.

The District Snow Team (Department of Public Works and Department of Transportation) went into a full deployment at 8 pm Sunday, March 16, putting more than 200 plows on District commercial and residential streets by 10 pm. Precipitation started Sunday as rain then turned to snow after 9 pm. About 2-4 inches of snow are predicted before the storm ends Monday night after a rain/snow mix. The forecast calls for sub-freezing temperatures overnight Sunday into Monday with a high of 32F on Monday and 43F on Tuesday.

DPW Director William O. Howland, Jr., echoed the lines of a favorite Dolly Parton tune when he said, “Here we go again, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. We encourage everyone to be aware of road conditions and take the necessary precautions as they travel, whether on foot or by motor vehicle.”

Howland said that DPW’s residential street sweeping program will be suspended Monday and Tuesday, March 17 and 18. “The same dump trucks we use for street sweeping are the same trucks we use for snow removal. Staff is spending the weekend converting these trucks back to snow vehicles,” he said. Enforcement of street sweeping parking restrictions will be suspended as well.

Residential and commercial property owners are asked to apply an abrasive such as non-clumping kitty litter, rock salt or deicer before the storm begins. They also should be aware that sidewalks must be cleared of snow within 24 hours of the end of the storm.

All District of Columbia Public Schools and administrative offices are closed on Monday, March 17, 2014 due to the inclement weather for all students, school-based staff and administrative office staff.

Examiner.com will be on the roads with updates on the snow removal.

Advantages of Inventory Tracking Systems

Do you and your business contain an inventory of products and/or materials? Some companies with an inventory choose to track those items, and others don’t. Many companies feel that the process of tracking inventory in and out is too overwhelming – the setup time and ongoing management seems simply too much to manage. These advantages of inventory tracking may just be enough to change the minds of those who have avoided it in the past.

Reduce item shrinkage.

Without inventory tracking, it can be hard to know where items are, and where they’ve gone. Somebody grabs an item here and an item there, forgets to write it down or tell anyone, and soon you’re inventory count is way off and the items are gone, without any income to show for it. Though it’s unpleasant to think about, stealing can be another cause for item shrinkage, and it’s much harder to track without the ability to track your inventory items. Adding an inventory management and tracking system, along with software and new processes, can significantly prevent shrinkage and improve your bottom line.

Understand item profitability.

Without the ability to see an item’s cost and sale price, it can be difficult to understand that item’s profitability. Even if you are selling the item for what seems like a reasonable price, how do you know the item is profitable? By tracking your inventory items in an inventory management system, you can run reports to see profitability by item, and you can gain useful insight that helps you make the right decisions about which items to promote or discontinue. You can also see where pricing adjustments may be needed, or negotiate better pricing with your vendor.

Keep customers happy.

When your customer calls to place an order, how do you know what is available, and how many you have? Relying on memory or physically walking back to the warehouse to check are both inefficient methods of letting customers know what you have. It can also be frustrating to the customer. Tracking your items can help you see instantly what is available and what is on order, so you can quickly give your customer an idea of what you have, and when it will be shipped.

Keep the items you need in stock.

Are you constantly running out of the products your customers order most often? Are you finding a shelf full of products nobody wants? These can be the result of not being able to analyze your inventory. By tracking items, you can run reports to see patterns of the hot (and not-so-hot) sellers. You can run long-term reports to understand patterns and order products to be available at the right time of year, when your customers want them. You can also liquidate the items you don’t want, so the shelf space is available for the items that sell.

Setting up an inventory management system can be a big task, but as long as you set up the system correctly and have the right staff and accounting software in place, you can reap big benefits from doing so (Source: http://www.redwingsoftware.com/rwssn/home.aspx?page=329).

Six easy ways to stay in touch with your network

We all know the importance of building a strong social network with colleagues and mentors inside and outside of our industry. But once you have identified those contacts with whom you feel there can be a mutually beneficial relationship, how do you strengthen and maintain your bond with them over time?

One of the biggest mistakes people make is reaching out only when you need something. You need to maintain a genuine connection rather than an exploitive one if you plan to build and benefit from those relationships over the long haul. Jess Siegal, Managing Director of Execu|Search has six steps that will help you create a strong social network for when you need it most: (hi bio http://execu-search.com/our-company/Jesse-Siegal)

Here’s how:

Step One: Connect on LinkedIn. When you meet someone you’d like to network with, your first step should be to add them to LinkedIn (or invite them to join if they haven’t yet) with a personalized message. When you do so, LinkedIn will send you email updates about your new connection, including anniversaries, career changes, promotions, etc. Many people view these notifications as a nuisance in their mailbox. Some even block the emails. I say enable them so you get these emails and don’t miss an important update which translates into an opportunity to reconnect with your contact.

Step Two: Take advantage of birthdays, holidays, and special milestones. Once you receive these updates, be sure to use them to their full potential. If your contact receives a promotion, for example, send a congratulations their way! This also applies to holidays, birthdays, and other events and milestones. Sending an email or calling to say congrats can go a long way and spark some conversation. Follow you networks’ career and never dismiss a contact who makes a move that doesn’t seem relevant to you anymore.

Step Three: Send your connection(s) relevant articles. When you come across something interesting that you think a particular connection would enjoy reading or benefit from in some way, send it over. This is one of the easiest ways to start conversing and, as a bonus, it shows you have them and their best interest in mind. Also look for ways you may be able to help your contacts – and be proactive about letting them know. If you and a new account that could require someone’s expertise, reach out. Or if you can make a recommendation to someone else for them, do it.

Step Four: Keep in touch regarding industry news. There is no better reason to reach out than to discuss the latest advances in your industry and what they mean for your careers. Even an email to ask if your contact has heard of the latest industry news can be a great conversation starter.

Step Five: Invite a contact or two to professional events. Going to a networking event? Bring one—or several—of your current contacts! They may notice something or someone you don’t, and if they make a great connection as a result of your invite, they’ll be sure to keep you in mind for the future as well.

Step Six: Just ask to catch up! If it’s been a while since you’ve spoken to a contact, don’t let the distance grow until you need something. Reach out and simply say that you haven’t spoken in a while and you’d like to reconnect. In most cases, your contacts should be receptive to this and appreciate the honesty. Remember, there are plenty of means for staying in touch, but meeting in person—even for just a quick coffee—is still the best way to network.

If you have a large LinkedIn network that you have not been following these steps with – it’s not too late! Go through your contact list and reach out one by one. Say it’s been a long time and you just want to catch up. And then you are on your way to rebuilding your social capital!

Yes – sweat the small things

Over the past week, I have visited three gas stations. Each was convenient and the price of gas was the same as other gas stations around the area. Two of the three had a food shop where customers can purchase coffee, an RC and a Moon Pie. Because the local area has had a lot of snow this winter, there was a lot of road salt on my windshield and I wanted to clean my windows. But, at each station, the buckets of window cleaners were empty and the squeegees were dry as a bone.

Gasoline is a commodity and people will search out the lowest price available. Therefore, most gas stations keep the price of gasoline close to what their competitors are offering. So, what is it that makes a customer choose one station over another? It is the little things, like the customer being able wash their windshield.

Customers may not know or even remember who has full windshield cleaners, but they do know when companies treat them well. They may be small but details are important to creating a positive customer experience and are often overlooked. A friendly hello, a “thanks for calling”, a small, unexpected gift or even an honest apology go a long way in creating a favorable customer experience. Moreover, the small extras are not that expensive. It cost nothing to say, “I apologize.” Depending on the number of pumps, a gas station may spend $25.00 per week to keep their windshield cleaners full.

When price is not an issue, customers will repeat establishments that create a positive experience. Even when price is an issue, customers are more likely to repeat business with companies that treat them well. And, sweating the details is one of the best ways of treating customers well.

Broward County Convention Center chosen for Marketing Mastery 2014 Conference

Fort Lauderdale, FL –Christina Rowe, President of Stand Out! Media Group and Heidi Richards Mooney, Founder of Women in Ecommerce™ are pleased to announce the Greater Fort Lauderdale / Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale as our Venue for the first-annual Day with the Masters Marketing Mastery 2014 Conference taking place on Friday, April 25, 2014.

About the Day with the Masters: Marketing Mastery 2014 Conference: Attending events is an excellent way to grow your business. Besides the content rich programs, top notch speakers and new business strategies, the event provides attendees will an excellent way to network and meet like-minded professionals. The Day with the Masters Marketing Mastery 2014 Conference is designed to for professionals and business owners who want to immerse themselves in knowledge and expertise as our six marketing masters share their cutting-edge techniques and strategies to transform your business today. General admission tickets are only $97 and include lunch. Limited VIP tickets are available and include premium seating, a private lunch with the speakers and other “perks.”

According to Heidi Richards Mooney, Event Co-Producer Chair, “The Greater Fort Lauderdale Broward County Convention Center was chosen because it represents our community in a professional way and the staff are a pleasure to work with. When people hear the name of the location, it gives the feeling of something larger than them, which fits perfectly with our theme, A Day with The Masters. We want people to walk away from our event feeling important, empowered and enlightened. The Convention Center will help us achieve our vision.”

Christina Rowe, event Co-Producer says: “Every event I have attended at the The Greater Fort Lauderdale Broward County Convention Center was first-class. The staff are professional, courteous and attentive to even the smallest details. We know they can handle an event of any size and will give us the attention we require and our guests expect.

About Greater Fort Lauderdale / Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale: The Greater Ft. Lauderdale / Broward County Convention Center is the country’s premiere waterfront conference facility. The building is a five-minute drive from the airport, within walking distance of many local hotels, and less than one mile from Fort Lauderdale’s famed Blue Wave beaches. Hosting more than 5 million guests and 5,500 meetings since opening its doors in 1991, the Convention Center consistently exceeds guest and meeting planner expectations for five-star food service, state-of the-art technology, and outstanding service in a modern, eco-friendly facility. For more information about the Convention Center call 954.765.5900 or visit http://www.ftlauderdalecc.com/.

About Stand Out! Media Group: Stand Out! Media Group creates your brand online and offline–from your website, Facebook page and profile, social media backgrounds to your promotional materials, marketing, publicity, videos and more. By building a streamlined, recognizable brand online, you will quickly develop a powerful web presence that attracts clients and generates new business. With Stand Out! strategic branding, you can become a well-known expert and leader in your field and dominate the search engines, giving you the edge over your competitors.

About Women in Ecommerce: For more than twelve years, Women in Ecommerce™ has been helping women do business on the web by providing educational events, seminars, webinars, conferences and teleclasses via our website and social media platforms. We have a diverse membership of women from all walks of life representing 54 countries worldwide. Our members are professionals, educators, retailers, retail businesses, work-at-home moms, direct sales representatives, affiliate marketers, online sales professionals, auction site sellers and resellers, web designers, and other technology experts.

For more information about the Day With The Masters Marketing Mastery 2014 Conference, visit www.daywithmasters.com. For more information about Stand Out! Media Group visit: www.standoutontheweb.com and for more information about Women in Ecommerce™ visit www.WECAI.org today! To participate in or learn more about the event, contact Christina Rowe at 732.501.6445, email her at [email protected] or contact Heidi Richards Mooney, at 954.625.6606 or email her at [email protected]