Archive for June, 2011

Great article that discusses how people are still vulnerable to the sun’s rays while in their car. Many people do not know this and assume that they are protected. Window film is the best way to block these harmful UV rays and protect you and the family while driving in your car.

By Sarah B. Weir

While most people can not get sunburned through a window, that doesn’t mean that glass protects you from all of the harmful effects of the sun. Glass commonly blocks UVB rays, but untreated windows do not shield you from dangerous UVA rays.

Despite many health organizations’ efforts to clarify the difference between UVB and UVA rays, people are still confused and believe they’re safe and healthy as long as they don’t get a burn or stay outdoors too long.

UVB and UVA rays: What’s the difference?

UVB rays cause sunburn. It’s easy to tell if you’ve been overexposed by the redness and pain. The effects of UVA rays are more insidious and cause damage over the long term.

They don’t impact the skin right away — instead, after years of exposure, UVA rays increase signs of visible aging such as wrinkles and brown spots, and can also lead to skin cancer, including melanoma, the most deadly form. While UVB rays can also lead to cancer and photo-aging, they diminish during the winter. UVA rays are present, and harmful, year-round.

Drivers are particularly vulnerable

UVA rays can penetrate a typical window — whether it’s in your home, office, or school. Because car windows are located so close to the body, they pose a particular risk.

Car windshields are coated with a protective film that blocks UVA rays, but often, side windows are not. At least two studies have shown that commuters and others who spend a lot of time in the car have an increased risk of developing skin cancer on the left side of their bodies — the side that gets the most exposure through the car windows for U.S. drivers.

In the first study, led by Dr. Scott Fosko at the St. Louis University School of Medicine and published in 2010, researchers combed through the records of more than 1,000 patients treated by a local skin cancer clinic. They discovered that the people who spent the most time driving were more likely to develop cancers on their left sides, especially on their faces, necks, arms, and hands — areas exposed to sunlight through the side window. According to Dr. Fosko, “It is an exposure that the public most likely doesn’t consider and should be aware of and take precautions with.”

Another study, noted in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology in January 2011, examined even more data gathered from the National Cancer Institute and came to the same conclusion.

Dr. Fosko suggests that if you are regularly sitting beside a sunny window indoors, you should also protect yourself from exposure to UVA rays. Although the chronic effects take several years to develop, he warns, “The damage starts early.”

How to protect yourself:

  • Consider having your car’s side and rear windows tinted or laminated with a UV-filtering material such as UV film.
  • Roll up your car windows — open windows let in even more UVA rays as well as UVB rays.
  • Drive wearing long sleeves.
  • Install a rear window and passenger side window sun shades to protect your children.
  • Consider using UV film on home or workplace windows. It is readily available at building supply stores. In addition to blocking harmful rays, it also helps prevent curtain and upholstery fabrics from fading.
  • Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen that blocks both UVB and UVA rays year-round.
  • Wear sunglasses with 100% UVA and UVB protection when driving or outdoors. The lens and retina of the eyes are extremely sensitive to sun damage.

Last month we discussed the importance of setting up a Facebook page for your business and asking your Facebook friends to “like” your page. We discussed how a “like” becomes a mini-endorsement of your business to everyone the person that liked you is connected to and how those numbers can become large, very fast. This month, I want to discuss some strategies you can use to attract customers to “like” your business and the powerful impact that can make.

Your page is set-up. It’s looking good and you have asked all your connections to “like” your new page. Now, how do you get your customers to “like” your page and expose all of their friends to your business as well? To begin with, start promoting your new page by having the page info displayed in your shop, on your invoices, in your advertisements, etc. This serves two purposes. First, it gives them another place where they can learn more about your company and see examples of your work. Second, it adds credibility and relevance to your business with younger consumers. This segment of your customer base views a nice Facebook page in the same way many viewed a strong yellow page ad 10-15 years ago. Just as not being in the yellow pages said something about your business 15 years ago, not having a Facebook page says something about you now.

Next, I want you to begin asking your customers if they mind you taking pictures of their job to profile on your Facebook page. Whether it is a home or auto, if they are pleased with the work that you have done, you will find most people receptive to this and many will enjoy the attention. The profile is simply taking some great pictures of their car or the interior shots of the home and posting it on your Facebook page with a brief description of the work done. Most of us are now carrying phones capable of taking decent pictures, so doing this is easy and only takes a few minutes per profile.

Also, I think a nice touch is to thank them for allowing the profile by offering a free film care kit consisting of a can of window film safe glass cleaner and a microfiber cloth. This care kit might cost you $3-$5, but it is well worth it. Someone that has their home or auto profiled on your Facebook page will definitely check out the profile, likely decide to “like” your page and probably “like” the post profiling their job.

So, what was accomplished through all of this? Using the data I gave you in my last blog, the person deciding to “like” your page and the profile of their job resulted in 130 people (average Facebook user’s # of friends) being exposed to you company twice (once for the page “like” and once for the profile “like”) by someone that they consider a friend. If you get permission to do 5-10 profiles per week, you are potentially talking about 2 impressions to 1300 individuals, or 2600 new impressions per week. Over the course of a year, that could result in a total of 135,200 unique consumer impressions. Most important, these impressions would have been forwarded to them by someone they consider a friend. Best of all, the cost of these impressions was nothing more than about an hour of your time per week. That’s a pretty good return on your time investment if you ask me.

How to Combat a Slow Economy

Posted: June 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

No Mediocrity

Great article in Entrepreneur Magazine on how to succeed through this slow economy. I enjoyed it and I thought you might too.

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How to Combat a Slow Economy

Group of Friends

Wow! Great read and exactly in-line with what I think is going to happen. This is exciting for business as someone endorsing your product to their “social circle” is going to be much more powerful than an endorsement to their “social network”. It will carry much more weight. Be careful though, a negative review of your business is going to carry much more weight with the “circle” as well.

Understand that things are different in 2011 and you need to shape your business around these new realities.

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The End Of The Social Network Era, The Rise Of The Social Circle Era

Person thinking

Great article by Josh Bernoff that discusses how to be successful using Twitter.

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What the Heck Are We Doing on Twitter?