Category Archives: Business

Missing out on Music Royalties

A portrait of a drummerSupporting yourself through music is tough. It requires an immense amount of hard work, patience, and shrewdness. Otherwise, you’re going to go broke by spending more money to produce and distribute your works instead of earning from selling records and playing live.

One of the main things to focus on is royalty collection. Getting compensated every time someone else uses your music is a great way to earn revenue. However, many artists, especially indie ones, struggle to fall short on collection. If you get most of your royalties, these are the possible reasons:

You Don’t Know What You Can Collect

Many indie artists are not completely aware of the royalties they can claim. In music publishing, you can generate money in the form of mechanical and performance royalties. The former refers to every composition sold or reproduced, while the latter talks about whenever your song gets played in public.

You could also get paid through licenses for synchronization and sampling. If your composition gets duplicated in print form, you should also get paid for print rights for sheet music.

You Don’t Invest in Accounting Enough

Royalty management can be technical and complicated. You must use advanced royalty accounting tools to ease the process, boost your collections, and generate greater revenues. Or else, you might lose a lot of money without realizing it.

You Don’t Have Control of File-Sharing

The ambiguity of fair usage is perhaps the biggest thorn in the side of independent artists. Channels such as YouTube, offer a great platform for distributing music. Unfortunately, they also empower fans to do whatever they want with the content for free. Once published, users could download singles or even whole albums at no cost. The absence of proper licensing regulations hurt indie music artists the most.

In a perfect world, independent artists get adequately paid to the last cent. In the real one, though, living off music isn’t always sustainable. You must have a strong game plan to collect the royalties you could realistically earn. This can help you keep doing what you love while providing for yourself and family.

Reverse Logistics: How to Turn Returns into Profit

a man explaining the logistical process

It is common practice to focus on getting customers to buy more when businesses want to increase their sales. However, one of the most overlooked sales tactics that many companies forget are returns or reverse logistics.

While this is typically an afterthought for some businesses, it is very crucial for all customers. Consider the following guidelines to turn your reverse logistics into sales.

Make Sure you have a Return Merchandise Authorization Process

Industry specialist ReverseLogix notes that your RMA process should allow your customers easy and fuss-free returns. Consider investing in returns management software that will provide you various capabilities to make the entire process easier for your team and your clients.

Make your Return Policies as Clear as Possible

Having a clear and easily understandable return policy is crucial so that your customers know what to expect if they decide to return an item. In general, include the following:

  • Specific items that they cannot and can return
  • The specific time frame allowed for accepting returns
  • Return shipping fees, if any
  • How you can send refunds and in what forms – credit, cash, etc.
  • Specific steps for the return process
  • If you offer your products to international customers, make sure that you have clear policies regarding international returns.

Monitor All Returned Items

A vital part of effective reverse logistics includes regular tracking of commonly returned items and the reason for the return. You should likewise monitor the rate of returns for as a percentage of overall sales for every item.

A Word on Free Returns and Free Shipping Promo

Take note that some customers will only buy products to satisfy the minimum requirement for free shipping and then benefit from it to send back items they do not need or want since they already availed of free shipping.

Consider offering this option for pricier products to deter unscrupulous customers from taking advantage of this incentive.

Put simply, based on the rate of returns, how you manage your reverse logistics could help determine your business’ profitability or lack thereof. Check out your returns management process right now and see if you could incorporate the guidelines as mentioned earlier to help increase your margins and sales.

Show Your Best Look with Your Head shot

Girl smiling and posingA head shot is a photograph of a person’s face, often used to represent someone on social media or promotion materials. Authors, actors, corporate business people, lawyers and even doctors make use of these portraits to promote themselves or their trade. Environmental head shots add life to regular head shots.

Why Environmental Head shots

Getting a good portrait is not just vanity – it’s an investment. Head shots promote an individual in the way he wants others to see him and can make or break first impressions. But what makes an environmental head shot special? Here are three reasons to get that environmental head shot:

1. It Captures More Than Just Your Face

A good photographer will ensure that he captures you at your best in your portrait. Being in your element can make you more comfortable when you take your photograph, making you look more radiant. The environment captured with you in the picture can also clue others in on what you want to represent.

2. It Makes the Photo Vibrant

Standard portraits are commonly set against a solid background to allow the subject to stand out. Unfortunately, this can also cause the picture to look rather bland and boring. With the background incorporated into the photo, environmental portraits are far more vibrant and appealing.

3. It Is Memorable

With the fast paced world of our lives today, we will often find ourselves in different places and situations. With an environmental head shot, you capture the totality of your life at a particular point in time. This preserves the memory better as it captures not just you, but even your circumstances in that time.

Environmental head shots add so much more to a portrait than a regular photograph with a solid background can show. Plan the shoot with your photographer beforehand. Know what you want to show and how you should show it, including what clothes to wear, what kind of makeup to apply, and where to take that shot.

Recycle Cardboard and Save the World

Recycled Card boards

In the US, more than 85% of products are sold packaged in cardboards. Some cities recycle between 1,500 to 2,100 pounds of cardboard every day. In the UK, paper and cardboard recycling is a successful venture. In 2015, it recorded 4.9 million tonnes of recycled paper and cardboard.

Cardboard is made from pulp. Pulp comes from trees. However, trees are a limited resource, and they provide oxygen and stabilise the world’s weather systems. Trees reduce carbon dioxide and preserve oxygen levels.

Recycling Cardboard

Recycling cardboard helps save trees. According to statistics, 544,000 trees could be saved in one year in the US alone. If every household used recycled paper towels, this would make a huge difference. So reusing recycled cardboard is one of the best ways to save the trees.

The manufacturing process releases harmful gases into the atmosphere. When industries adopt cardboard recycling, you can help reduce the number of gases by half. One ton of recycled paper saves at least 17 trees. Oil, energy and water are also saved in the process. Households throw away too much paper and wood each year. The amount thrown out would be enough to heat up 50, 000, 000 homes for 20 years.

Types of Cardboard Suitable for Recycling

You cannot recycle all cardboards. Paper board or flat board cannot be recycled, and these include cereal boxes, milk cartons, and shoe boxes. Shirt boxes and frozen food boxes are also considered flat board.

However, corrugated cardboard is recyclable. This cardboard is used in packaging products. If you need to recycle these boards, you need to break down the boxes before handing it in as this saves space. You could haul more cardboard with each trip if you do so. Do your part and help in recycling paper and cardboard.

3 Secure Ways to Keep Your Documents Safe

Documents kept safeWhere and how you keep your documents will determine how safe it is from theft or damage. It should be secure enough that other people will not see or know where you keep it. At the same time, it should have protection from fire, water, or any other environmental factors that may affect its state.

The following are effective ways to keep your documents in good condition.

Use self-storage units

Technology has changed storage units so much that they are now fireproofed and waterproof. You can add many features like a number PIN lock or key lock to typical storage units and facilities.

Self-storage in Santa Barbara, CA – a service offered by firms such as Bond Storage – may be a good investment for you (or your company) so that your documents will be safe.

Make digital copies

Scanning documents and creating digital copies will not be able to restore your original ones, but that is what is available right now. At least with digital copies, people will still know the contents of the document should it be needed. Just make sure you upload the digital copies to a secure cloud storage platform.

Put documents back into safe as soon as possible

One mistake document owners make is not returning documents to where they keep them right away. Do not just leave them on the table or someplace else. Otherwise, it undergoes exposure to food and other stuff, which will invite ants and other pests. You need to know what should be in your storage area and what should be in another place.

At the end of the day, these documents are important in your life, whether it is personal or professional. It is up to you to craft ways to strengthen safe keeping of your documents. The suggestions above are already a few of them.

MAP Policy Monitoring: How to Keep MAP Violators In Line On Amazon

Amazon checkout pageAmazon does not really care about your MAP (minimum advertised price) policy. Their focus is consumer satisfaction, so they avoid dipping into reseller-manufacturer relationships as much as they can. So much so that if you, as a manufacturer, see a MAP violation on Amazon and you decide to complain, you’d have to send a complaint form for every product SKU, among other things. So what do you do if you’ve already reached out to Amazon and the MAP violator but the violator is ignoring your messages?

Enforcing your MAP Policy on MAP Violators in Amazon

Although MAP violators might ignore your messages on Amazon since they’re technically not violating Amazon selling policies, they’re still essentially violating their agreement with you. First, place a test purchase just to see if you could determine who the seller if you can’t tell whom it is through their Amazon seller name. You could then use that information and send them a “cease and desist” letter to inform the violator that you’re taking the matter seriously. You could likewise consider product serialization to determine which seller is violating your MAP policy.

If the MAP violator still doesn’t respond after sending a cease and desist letter, you could file a lawsuit claiming trademark infringement or some other law related to intellectual property. That is if you have the resources and you think that the actions of the violator would eventually affect your brand, and hence, your bottom line. Otherwise, you could simply stop supplying the violator with your products.

Take note that your distributors won’t and aren’t legally obliged to enforce MAP agreements for you. You could, however, pre-authorize all your retailers via authorized retailers agreements so that you can have a deal or legal understanding with your retailers.

Other Vital Things to Consider

The above mentioned MAP enforcement suggestions are your last resort measures, which you wouldn’t have had to take if you had deployed MAP policy monitoring with the help of and enforcement tactics in the first place. Likewise, it’s worth reiterating that Amazon won’t help you police your brand, and only you could do it. Fortunately, there are solutions for monitoring MAP violations, not just on Amazon, but also across the World Wide Web. You just have to choose the best one for you.

Why it Pays to Finding the Right Mortgage Rates For You

Man showing the low mortgage rates cardBuying a home is always a huge and long-term financial investment. For most people, it is a huge milestone, so better take the time to research and plot your actions in becoming a homeowner.

One of the most important – and not always the easiest – ways to buy your home is to find the right mortgage rates and the right mortgage company.

Here are some benefits you can enjoy if you take your time to find the best mortgage rate in Utah.

Faster Approval Process

When you can find the best (which is always the lowest) mortgage rates in Utah, it will become easier for you to pay for the upfront fees and prepare the paperwork needed to finalize the agreement.

This means faster approval process because you can provide all the necessary requirements in little time. Many people would advise that you start looking for the right rates and right loan company first before you decide on the property you are getting.

Lighter Payments

Getting the lowest and best mortgage interests possible means lighter payments from your end. And when you can make the payments on time, it can be easy for you to pay in advance just to make sure you have enough covered in case of rainy days and financial challenges.

Get Out of Debt Faster

The lower the interest rates, the faster you can pay if off and start paying the principal. If you continue this setup, you can get out of debt more quickly and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Moreover, if you are done with your existing loan, you can even get a new one can finance an upgrade or buy a new property.

There are so many benefits to paying off your mortgage faster! So make sure you look for the best interests you can find!

Begin your search online and take it from there. You can also have a lending company to create a quotation for you so you can see for yourself how much you can afford. This way, you get to avoid that grand delusion that you can get the house of your dreams even if you really cannot afford it.

Tactics to Optimise for User Search Intent

A person planning their SEO tasks Search engine algorithms have gotten smarter over the years; website owners can never churn out articles stuffed with keywords like they used to. Marketers must be smart and learn how to leverage the intent of potential customers to deliver products or services they want.

Doing so improves conversion rates and boosts the chances of getting repeat customers. A digital media agency here in Melbourne can help you in this area. Here are some tactics you can do that allow you to optimise for user intent.

Identify Pages to Optimise

You already have content, whether it is text or videos; tweak these to match the intention of potential customers and those who want to read the post or share the video. Doing so allows certain pages to boost engagement and makes it easier for your audience to find them.

What Is the Intent?

The question to ask is why do people end up on your website? They must have keyed in certain search terms, or are looking for a particular product or service. Determine the intentions of your visitors so that you can be the solution they are looking for and provide content that answers their potential questions.

Optimisation Tactics

After identifying the intentions of your visitors, it is time to start optimising pages they may want to land on. Tell the narrative of your target audience by using “trust” words, testimonials from previous customers, provide relevant case studies and details to prove any claims you made in a post or piece of content.

What you want to do is to focus on the experiences that a visitor may have while browsing your pages using videos, blog posts or others.

Execute the Changes Planned

Now is the time to hit the publish button; this also helps you determine the statistics that can serve as a benchmark for future campaigns or any changes you have to make. This enables you to identify the effects of your efforts as well.

These strategies allow you to change your marketing efforts to a search intent-focused one. Doing so enables you to reach a targeted audience that is likely to convert.

The Main Types of Cargo Strapping and Their Advantages

Cargo boxesIf you’ve worked with cargo before, then you know how important it is to secure them in place during transport. Even if they are on wooden pallets or large shipment containers, securing cargo is a necessary process to ensure that no damage will happen to the transported goods and the transporting vessel.

One small bump in the road on a poorly strapped cargo truck or one strong misplaced wave in the ocean could lead to a tremendous disaster. While you can’t avoid accidents completely, there are ways to lessen risks and that is through the use of proper poly strapping.

Here we’ll explore the different ways you can secure your cargo, their advantages and disadvantages, and how they can fit in with your operational needs.

Plastic Strapping

For light cargo, the most practical resource would be plastic strapping. They are lightweight, but heavy duty and can withstand most extreme tension forces. They also come in a variety of widths and thicknesses that can fit any situation. The three main kinds of plastic strapping are:

  • Polypropylene has many advantages, but they can heat up under extreme stress. They are also susceptible to ultraviolet damage, so they might not be advisable to store under direct sunlight.
  • Nylon is the strongest of the three types and can withstand much higher loads than its counterparts. Unfortunately, nylon is also expensive which deters most companies from its use.
  • Polyester matches nylon in terms of specific strength but has the lightweight and affordable traits of polypropylene. This is by far the most popular of the three and is in use in most industries worldwide.

Steel Strapping

Plastics have only been recently used in the industry, which means that steel was the go-to resource for the longest time. In terms of strength, steel is the undisputed leader. With zinc-coating, it can hold its own against the elements. One drawback is, even while protected, it can still succumb to rust, which means frequent checks, and replacements are necessary.

If you’re looking for ways for securing cargo, there are many options to choose from. Your decision must be based on the needs of your company and the situations that your cargo will be under.

Give Your Fabricating and Welding Firm a Competitive Edge

Man working on a steel productWelding and fabrication rank among the oldest craft known to humanity. Since making a debut more than two thousand years ago, iron working has grown to be an integral part of civilization. From mega structure to small items such as nail clippers, metal products are part of the daily life.

As technology evolves, so does the range of iron and iron-related products. In fact, like fine wine, iron-working skills refine with time. Such developments present you with an excellent opportunity to grow your business.

Refine your processes

With a little bit of effort, you can hone your skills to give you an edge in a dynamic market. Welding and fabricating is an exact science that requires a particular set of expertise and knowledge. It leaves little room for trial and error since any oversight could have serious ramifications.

For instance, weak seams in storage tanks could lead your clients to incur severe losses. The resultant blow back could ruin your reputation and set you down a destructive path.

Similarly, you need to have an arsenal of drilling and tapping machines in your workshop if you are to get the work done quickly and professionally. Such tools increase the quality of your work, improve your turnaround times, and expand your range of products.

 Enhance your exposure

Long gone are the days when a particular type of businesses didn’t have to advertise their goods and services. Increasing competition makes it mandatory to let the world know of your existence. Besides, there are many ways to promote your products without breaking the bank.

You can tell your brand story on the various online platforms and let you prospective clients know of your capabilities. You only need a website and one or two social media pages to create consumer engagement and build brand authority.

Metalworking is a crucial aspect of a growing human population, presenting welders and fabricators with good business prospects. With a little effort and preparation, you can tap into these opportunities and grow your business.