Posted by Doug
on January 21, 2011
The habit of putting off doing your taxes because it’s so labor intensive is outdated. You need to enter the digital age and recognize how easy it is to prepare and file taxes in 2011. There is a caveat that if you have particularly complicated taxes due to deductions, self employment, or significant investments, it is probably still a good idea to get professional help in completing your returns.
For do it yourselfers, the job has become quite easy.
If you insist on doing your taxes by hand, you can find tax forms online that you can print out and hand fill. This saves you having to trek to the library or post office to pick up forms and it also saves on the printing costs of instruction books and schedules that you don’t need to use. You simply find the forms you need, print them, and go.
For those who are more comfortable with the internet age, it is possible to use online tax services to complete the necessary forms and efile your return. Most services walk you through a series of questions to enter your income and identify deductions and then fill out all the necessary forms for you. You are still responsible for verifying the accuracy of the information, but the returns are sent electronically to the IRS and your state, saving time, paperwork, and postage. Refunds can be direct deposited into your bank account in less than two weeks, again saving printing and postage.
If you use home accounting software to keep your household finances in order, it may even be possible to upload that data to the tax site so that it can find your deductions more easily.
Posted by Doug
on January 14, 2011
Commerce is king on the internet. Nearly every web site is trying to sell something — whether that is a product, idea, service, or person. Convincing people that something or someone is worthwhile is the goal and there are many tools that can be used in order to achieve that goal. A good example of this is how Marlabs uses customer testimonials to demonstrate their worthiness.
There are several different types of testimonials that companies collect. The first, and probably most important, is the client or customer testimonial. These are positive reviews of a company’s products, services, and employees. They usually appear in the form of quoted text. Sometimes a website will have video testimonials or audio files of customers praising the company. Anyone researching a company can learn a lot about the quality of work as well as the company’s culture and personality by carefully analyzing the comments left by customers.
Another type of testimonial is that of the vendor or business partner. These are usually in the form of reference letters, though they may also be brief quotes. Understanding how a company treats its partners and vendors is very important to those considering entering a B2B relationship. It is also good for potential investors in a company as well as anyone being recruited or applying for employment.
Some companies will share testimonials from their employees. Many customers, investors, and vendors want to know that they are doing business with an organization that respects and values their employees. While lack of employee testimonials does not mean that a company mistreats employees, companies like
Marlabs , that have and share positive reviews from employees are going to reap some positive benefits from potential employees, business partners, and the public at large.
A final category of testimonials come from the community. This may include local politicians or government officials expressing their thanks for the work a company has done in a given town or city. It also covers testimonials from anyone who has benefited from the company’s generosity, such as non-profit organizations that receive donations or volunteer hours and individuals who have received funds, services, or other donations from a company’s charitable department.
Posted by Doug
on January 03, 2011
Home and Garden
Many parents are intimidated by the idea of assembling equipment for their children. Once they have set up the new swing set to manufacturer specifications they may feel an immense sense of relief that their work is done. However, if they want to ensure the safety of their children over the years they will be using the set, parents will need to establish a regular schedule of maintenance to keep the equipment in the best working order.
The best way to do this is to refer to the equipment manual. Manufacturers will provide guidelines for inspecting, maintaining, and replacing parts. This will include instructions on when and how to oil Swing Set Hardware as well as information on the normal lifespan of components such as seats.
Opinions differ on whether equipment should be inspected monthly or more often. To be safe, a twice a month inspection should check the nuts, bolts, caps, and tubing on the hardware, tightening or replacing anything that is loose, missing, or broken. Once a month parents should inspect chains/cables/ropes, swings, and hardware for wear and deterioration. This includes looking for protrusions on hardware, splintering of wooden elements or rusting of metal frames or chains. Any problems should be fixed or replaced immediately or the affected equipment completely removed until it can be repaired. There is no excuse for allowing children to use broken or worn equipment that could lead to accidents.
A simple inspection, maintenance, and repair schedule will go a long way to ensuring many, many years of safe use of a swing set.