Why Hiring a Social Media Management Company May Be Your Startup’s Next Big Step

social media managementStarting up a new business can be a treacherous process, which is attested to by the well-known statistic that new startups only have a 10% success rate. Many things must happen right, in order for a new business to be successful, and the vast majority of time those things do not line up. Making a successful business requires a lot of strategy, good decision-making, planning, and even some element of luck. But one thing that is definitely a necessary ingredient for success is customer acquisition. Simply put, you have to find your customer base if you want your business to succeed. If the people who want what you’re selling don’t know about it, you aren’t going to be making very much money. Some experts propose that failure to acquire the proper customer base is one of the primary reason’s that new businesses today fail. This is why it is absolutely critical that the proper marketing strategy is followed, and in the information age, that strategy is social media marketing.

Social media marketing is sort of like PR and marketing, combined into one thing, on the internet. Proper utilization of the internet is a major factor in the success of any business today, failure to optimize your website’s search engine rankings, or to create a strong social media presence can all spell disaster for a new startup’s marketing ambitions. In order to do these things properly, it helps to hire the assistance of an organization of professionals who specialize in exactly this service, generally known as a social media marketing agency. This type of organization is basically the modern equivalent of a PR or marketing firm, but tailored to the 21st century with a heavy emphasis on the internet, and social media in particular.

It’s common for startups to bootstrap their marketing in their earliest beginning stages. This makes perfect sense, as you won’t likely be able to afford to pay a marketing agency to help you out when you’re barely able to scrape together the money to build prototypes, write a business plan, and find investors. However, many business owners make the dire mistake of continuing to bootstrap their marketing even when they’ve crossed the threshold of acquiring investment and are beginning to get their business underway. When investors are on-board, and the sum of money being utilized is much higher, every business owner should invest in some level of services from a social media marketing agency. If you’re opening a restaurant, you probably wouldn’t want to make your sign yourself, you would hire a sign-maker to create one that looks professional and will draw people into your restaurant. The same principle applies to social media marketing; if you want it done professionally, you should leave it in the hands of professionals, and invest in their services. Sure, you could start a Facebook page, you could try to optimize your website for search engines, but you would never achieve what they will, and when these factors could really make or break your business, they are worth investing a portion of your budget.

One of the reasons this is such a great idea is that social media will help you find your niche. If you are a new startup, finding your niche is really the name of the game, especially if you plan to offer a unique and interesting product or service of any kind. The ability to advertise your product primarily to people who may actually be interested in it is something that is unique to social media, because there aren’t very many other opportunities in the older forms of media to do so. Television and radio advertisements, or ads in newspapers, all involve spending large sums of money to appeal to the masses, only a certain percentage of whom may be interested in what you have to offer. Compare this to social media, which has built in algorithms which know what people generally like, and help your company’s brand to find its way to those people. But only if you know how to use it properly, which you probably don’t. Yet another reason to hire a social media management agency.

If you want to establish your customer base and build a lucrative business in today’s market, social media and the internet absolutely must be an essential element of your strategy. And if you want that strategy to be executed properly, you should put it in the hands of professionals. As a business owner, you have plenty of other things to worry about, including running your actual business. With the help of a professional social media management agency, you can put your mind to what you set out to do, and rest assured that your internet marketing and PR needs are in good hands.

The Quest for Invisible Braces

orthodontic specialists in your areaTaking care of your teeth should always be a priority. Everyone needs to be brushing and flossing daily, and making routine trips to the dentist. Regular cleanings, check-ups, and common tooth problems can all be handled by your family dentist. But sometimes there are issues with the smile that need to be addressed that most dentists are prepared to handle. Orthodontists are the professional that help us with crooked, misaligned, or overcrowded teeth. Though many of the issues orthodontists deals with seem to be cosmetic, the problems they fix can often lead to serious health issues down the road if unaddressed. It’s truly amazing what a skilled orthodontist can do for a crooked smile. They’ve got many types of treatments to turn to along the way, from traditional methods to highly sought after ‘invisible braces.’

You might be amazed to see the extreme cases that an orthodontist can fix. If you’ve been avoiding smile correction treatments because you thought your teeth were a lost cause you may want to reconsider. Between the various methods for smile correction and other treatments like dental implants, almost any issue can be addressed. There’s no reason to go on being ashamed of your smile. Many people suffer from the same issue, and many of them go to an orthodontist for help. Remember, if you’ve been avoiding going because you don’t want braces, there are other options. Depending on your treatment needs, your orthodontist might suggest treatments like clear braces, lingual braces, or even Invisalign. Let’s take a closer look at these common treatment methods.

We will start with the basics: braces. Typically made out of stainless steel, traditional braces are still the most commonly used smile correction treatment. This is because they are still considered the most effective, working even in extreme cases of misalignment. When you seek to straighten teeth with orthodontic treatment, braces will often be the first suggestion. Most people are familiar with braces, having seen other wearing them as kids even if they didn’t have them themselves. When people are seeking smile correction as an adult however, they often want to avoid having it readily noticed. With traditional braces there’s no downplaying or hiding their appearance. Additionally, traditional braces require an astute attention to detail during cleaning, and limit the wearer from eating certain foods. For that reason, many orthodontists offer a host of other treatments.

Clear braces are often a consider for those seeking more discretion. They are perfect for keeping notice to minimum while maintaining the effectiveness of traditional braces. Instead of metal these braces will usually be made of a clear plastic polymer. Though not as noticeable as traditional braces, these still aren’t 100% invisible. If someone is looking at your mouth closely, they’ll still be able to see the braces. They’ll also have the same diet limitations and cleaning requirements as traditional braces. Don’t worry though, if you’re looking for something even more discreet you may be in luck.

Lingual braces are one of the best ways to keep people from noticing your smile correction treatment. They are hidden from sight and they push and pull your teeth into place. How is this down? The brackets and wires are attached to the backside of teeth instead of the front, giving the wearer maximum discretion. Unfortunately, every case isn’t the right fit for lingual braces, so you’ll have to consult with your orthodontist if you’re interested in this treatment method. You must also look at the cost of treatment when consider lingual braces. They are not easy to put on the patient, and require a skilled orthodontist, so they will generally cost more than traditional or clear braces. Too many however, the discretion is well-worth it. Don’t get too worried if lingual braces won’t fit your teeth however, this is still another invisible solution.

Invisalign is a rather recent development in orthodontic treatment. At first Invisalign was not readily accepted as a viable treatment solutions, but years of results has proven it to be a fantastic solution. Often known as ‘invisible braces’ Invisalign aligners are made from a clear plastic polymer and are printed on a 3D printer. The treatment process is rather simple and doesn’t require the patient to spend too much time in the chair. A mold will be taken on the teeth and uploaded as a digital image to special software. A treatment plan is created based on the desired location of teeth, and the aligners are printed. Every two seeks or sign the aligners are swapped for the next pair in the process. Many offering adult orthodontics feature Invisalign, knowing that people will favor a treatment method that is barely noticeable.

Smile correction treatments shouldn’t be something you are afraid of! With just a little bit of dedication you can flashing a perfect smile in no time at all. If you’re not sure where to begin, talk to your dentist or start searching around online. It should be easy to find a capable and experienced orthodontist in your area.

Three Times When Tax Services Can Help You

There is no one that is more hated than the tax collector, and there is no day that is more disdained and hated than tax day.  If you’ve ever had to pay taxes, you’ll understand what I mean, especially if you’ve had to actually pay taxes, rather than just putting out a request to get money back from the Internal Revenue Service after the fact.

There’s no dispute that the tax man is a hated figure in not just modern times, but has been since the idea of a tax man first came around.  Zealots in ancient Rome were known to, among other things, murder tax collectors, seeing them as the people who made it possible for the Romans to keep the Hebrews down (and, honestly, when you consider that they were basically taking money from the Hebrews and then oppressing them, it isn’t a far-fetched claim).  Whether you accept the Bible as historical or not, it is an old document, and an old text, that talks about, in short, how much people hated the tax collectors, among other things.  Even our stories, our tales, our fables, they show that tax collectors were hated throughout history.  Look at the depiction of the Sheriff of Nottingham in British mythology when compared to Robin Hood; Robin Hood was a good guy who robbed from the rich and gave to the poor, while the Sheriff was a man who was busy with collecting oppressive taxes from everyone he could in order to make sure that King John was getting what he had decided was ‘his fair sure’.

Dealing with the tax collector, in this case the Internal Revenue Service, has never been an easy or ‘fun’ thing, and it seems to only get worse each year. Luckily, a huge industry has sprung up around the idea of helping you, the individual, to make sure you’re keeping as much of your money as possible in your hands, rather than in the hands of the IRS which will waste it on things that probably don’t much interest you.  I’m talking about firms offering tax services, and here are just three times when you’ll be able to use them to great effect.

1.  When (if) you open a business

Opening a business is a lot of work, and you know what else takes a lot of work?  Figuring out what the tax code will allow you to do as far as business expenses that you can write off, for example, takes a lot of time, and a lot of work, and this means that you’re going to end up spending time on figuring something out that isn’t being spent helping your business to grow.  Then, of course, there’s also the fact that you don’t really know what you’re doing, more likely than not, which means that you could end up forcing an audit if your numbers are too far off what the IRS thinks they should be.

accounting servicesOr, rather than all that work, risk, and hassle, you can just hire one of the many CPA firms that offer tax services, and they can figure out what you need to do in order to be in compliance with IRS regulations, and they’ll do so at a price that will be much preferable to wasting valuable man hours on decoding tax code.

2.  After marriage

The first time you get married and go from filing as a single man to filing as a joint account, you’re going to notice some changes in limits and deductions.  In some states, you can write off your marriage license as an expense, which means you’re basically getting married for free (isn’t that cool?), in others, you can give your wife certain amounts of money as a legal ‘gift’ once or once a year, the list is long and figuring out your local and federal laws are hard.  Why deal with the hassle yourself?

3.  After the birth of a child

Giving birth to a kid, well, to be fair, that’s a very intense thing, and the first few months to a year of raising a child leave little time for considering anything other than the raising of said child.  However, you still need to do things like write-off the medical expenses and anything else you can, plus to set up a fund for your kid to go to college (if at all possible), and making sure that you’re saving as much money on your taxes as possible is going to be a great help in achieving those goals.  Yet again, a tax accounting firm is the best place to get this kind of help, and to make sure you’re keeping as much money in your pocket and out of the IRS’ as you possibly can.

Look, the long and short of any interaction is that someone is going to be getting it over on someone else.  You’re either losing money, or you’re losing the law to limit your losses as best as you can.  With the help of a CPA firm with tax services, you’re just making sure you’ve got a better chance of coming out on top.


Event Design To Bring In Customers

Have you ever been in a profession where, at least once a year, you have to (or get to, depending on how awesome the place that you’re going to is going to be) go to some sort of expo or some sort of trade show where everyone that is involved in the industry shows off all the new stuff that they’ve made in the past year, as well as early runs of the products that will be coming out within the next year or so?  That’s called a trade show.  Now, as someone who is going to a trade show, but isn’t going to have to do anything in an attempt to sell something to other people, but rather someone who is going to take a look at the things being offered, it can be a lot of fun with very little effort, and, often, it’s something that your business will cover at least a bit of the cost for, making it seem a lot like a paid vacation that just happens to have some work added on to it.  However, for those taking part in the event, and having to man an expo booth and sell their product to people, it can be a lot of work, especially when it comes to designing their booth and the attractions that they’ll present.

trade show booth displaysWhen I say attractions, I don’t mean that event design, necessarily, means fun, games, and things like that (although, depending on the event, you may be able to do some pretty awesome stuff there.  Part of event design is doing your best to make sure that you design a layout for your both that will attract people to come and see what you have to offer.  If you’re offering, for example, heavy machinery that can be driven (dump trucks, fork-lifts, other construction implements and the like), and if the expo space has room for you to do so, maybe you want to give people a chance to play with the equipment (yes, I know you don’t play with such equipment, but I mean that no matter how old a man you are, no matter how mature you become, you are never too old to have fun with sitting in the seat of construction equipment and driving it around).

On the other hand, at some events, scientifically based events for example, you’re going to want to make sure that your booth is in keeping with the feel, tone, and maturity of the event.  This means that you’re going to want to skip a lot of the ‘shock and awe’ approach, the fancy lights, the cool pictures, and instead present a much more subdued, albeit no less enticing, booth.

A big part of making sure your business attracts people at such an expo has to do with making sure that you fit in as far as expectation and tone of your booth.  It needs to be in keeping with the type of event that you are attending, but it also needs to showcase whatever it is you’re selling.  I’ve gone to expos where they had huge tomes of scientific knowledge on various aspects of crime and criminality available for perusal and where they were trying to sell such to the populace, and I’ve also been to events where they had body armor for sale and, at a particular point in the show, they shot it with a suppressed firearm (not using subsonic ammunition, though, because that wouldn’t be correct for most body armor uses) at their booth.  Now, to be sure, they didn’t shoot it in an unsecured environment; they had secured a booth at an outside wall, and even more impressive, around it, they built a bulletproof enclosure, making sure that the bullet couldn’t possibly travel through in a worst case scenario.  Even more impressive, they accounted for the fact that, when a bullet strikes a steel surface (the armor was steel), it can fragment, and made sure that no one would be hurt if such happened.  Can you think of a better exhibit display to sell the militaries and police departments in attendance on the product that you’re offering?  I can’t.  That’s just one (fairly awesome) example of a great design for a booth that will attract customers at the expo to your booth.

The more interesting your display is, the more likely that people are going to stop.  Once you’ve gotten them to stop, it’s up to you to sell them on what you have to offer, but with a drab and uninteresting booth, you’re not even going to get that chance.  Just some food for thought.

Three Reasons Invisalign Is Right For You

A lot of people want to be more aesthetically pleasing, more beautiful (at least when you consider beauty to be something that is a standard around the country or the world, although really this often means that they want to look more like their favorite movie star), and doing so can take some work.

If you have the money, you can get your face ‘beautified’.  This will take a lot of time, and a lot of money, and will meant that you need to spend a lot of time having your face cut up and made to be more ‘even’, however you want to take that.  We tend to like faces that are perfectly symmetrical more than we do faces that are asymmetrical, in general, in the United States, although that tends to be a genetic thing, meaning that everyone is likely to find the same thing attractive, even though we’re not sure why.

You can also get your body beautified, so to speak.  Things lifted and tucked, things sucked out to make you skinnier, there are dozens of things you can do, and they all cost a lot of money.

Lastly, there’s the teeth, and it is of the teeth that I would like to talk.  Basically, we think that straight teeth in neat little rows are just ‘the bee’s knees’, so to speak.  Now, aligning the teeth is something that we can do, and do with very little effort and expense (nowhere near the expense of the other two, in fact).  We accomplish this with the simple use of braces, and have been doing so for nearly the last fifty years.  With the use of quality dental care of a cosmetic sort, you can have those teeth you dream of.

For the most part, this means using standard braces, but lately, we’ve updated our technology to the point where we can do so with a newer, and much improved technology.  This means the use of invisible braces, commonly known as Invisalign.  Here’s just three reason to choose them:

1.  Discretion

When it comes to standard metal braces, there has long been one complain in particular, one that has persisted for the nearly fifty years that have passed since braces first became a viable option for the realigning of teeth.  This complaint is that they’re not discreet, and, alas, it has validity.  Standard braces aren’t discreet; they’re large, they’re easy to see, and they’re made of one of the least discreet materials ever; they’re made of metals, things like dental gold or stainless steel, in general.  This means that, when you put them on the teeth, the pearly white teeth, they’re going to be easy to see and easy to spot.

On the other hand, Invisalign is not easy at all to spot, because they’re a series of plastic aligners that are clear and see-through.  This means that, once you put them on your teeth, they’re going to be basically invisible to the naked eye, unable to be seen, and something that is offering you the utmost in discretion.

2.  Durability

experienced kids dentistsAn issue that standard metal braces can run into is the fact that they have durability issues.  This is easy to understand, when you think about it.  The mouth, like most parts of your body, really aren’t a hospitable place for any outside material to reside.  The mouth will slowly destroy your braces, even if you take good care of them.  When you have braces for a couple of years, they can break.

On the other hand, Invisalign doesn’t run into this issue for one easy reason.  You switch out Invisalign aligners, and that means you don’t have to worry about them deteriorating at all.

3.  Cost

Finally, we come to the question of what this will cost when it comes to getting them from your trustworthy family dentist.  Well, there’s good news there, they’re not that much more expensive than standard braces.  They’re going to run, generally, somewhere in the realm of five hundred to a thousand dollars more than the standard braces.  This may sound like a lot, but remember that you don’t have to pay this all at once; you get to wait and pay it off over an installment plan, which makes it a lot less of a hassle and worry.

So, if you’re looking at purchasing a treatment to fix your teeth and their alignment, here’s just three of the great reasons to choose Invisalign.  Whatever treatment plan you’re going to go with, you’ll have straight teeth that you can be proud to show off for years to come.

The Importance of Website Design

We live in the internet age, the age where pretty much everything in the world is on the internet, is accessible from anywhere.  I remember when the internet was a rare thing, something that was going to be enjoyed only by a few, only by those who had a home computer (and in the early to mid nineties, that was a fairly small segment of the population, mostly professionals who needed it so that they could email from home and other things like that.  Remember, the early internet was not very fast, so people spent a lot of time on it waiting for pages to load, even back then when website design wasn’t as complex, and pages could be measure in kilobytes rather than megabytes).  If you ever get to see one of those old AOL discs, that’s basically the beginning of wide availability of the internet for the general public.

If you don’t have a website, you’re basically handicapping your business.  You need one in this day and age, and you need it for a myriad of reasons.  I know, this may seem counterintuitive, what with the  hipster movement that we’ve all been seeing, but it’s still needed.  If you have seen those (obnoxious) hipster businesses and the way that they work, they absolutely make use of the internet.  I know, they like to pretend that they’re living in bygone days, listening to music on record players, doing everything they can by hand, spending their parents’ money on things like expensive coffees and small batch beers, and pretty much pretending that anything that has been made by hand is of higher quality and greater value than something that has been made by a machine (interestingly, there’s no evidence the at making something by hand makes it any better than something crafted by a machine, but that’s just crazy talk in this modern age), but at the end of the day, in the pocket of every hipster is an expensive cell phone that allows them to call their hipster friends and use the internet.

So, if you don’t have a website, you’re basically making sure that few people are going to know anything about your business other than what they hear from other people, and closing off a large segment of the market to yourself.  Let us say you run brewery, for example.  Do you think that most people are going to just go into a bar and order a beer from a company they’ve never heard of?  The answer is no, which is why a lot of very small batch brewing companies have been having issues int he long term with staying open.  Any design agency will tell you that not only do you need a website, but you need it to tell people why they should use your business among all the other ones that are offering the same thing.

reliable responsive website design companyThen there’s the fact that a website can be a great way for your customers to buy products without them having to actually get up and go to a store or anything like that.  For most of human history, if I’ve wanted something, I’ve had to either go and purchase it, or I’ve had to use a servant or employee to go and do the purchasing for me.  Today, I can get on the internet, long on to Amazon, and purchase pretty much everything, from clothing to shoes to food to knives and even things like electronics and guitars, and I can do all of this from the comfort of my own home without even having to bother to put on some pants.  I can use various services in various areas to even do my grocery shopping for me, sending them a list of the things that I want and waiting for them to bring them to me as soon as they can.  Web developers have made it possible for such things to flourish, not only for them to be usable to the general public, but for them to be a great way to get things brought to me, to the point that living as a complete agoraphobe has never been so easy as long as I’m willing to spend the money to do so.

So, if you’re  a business that hasn’t got a website, you really need to look into hiring someone to provide you with a website, someone to help you get word about your business out there so that you can have a presence on the web, and so that you’re able to compete on the internet with your competition.


The Evolution Of The Orthodontist

The idea of perfecting the teeth and their alignment is by no means a new one, at all.  In fact, it can be traced back thousands of years ago, to the years, in fact, well before modern board-certified orthodontistry, even before Christ (if you find yourself a believer in such a person, either way, our calendar is based on the existence of such a holy being).  The idea was, in fact, nearly a thousand years old when the holy Roman Catholic church was established, and that didn’t happen until the fifth century AD (anno Domini).

The idea hailed from ancient Greece, as did so many great ideas that we still see in use today, including our method of government, a representative democracy (although ours is of the constitutional variant, it is still heavily based in the ideas of Greek governance).  In fact, it was first recorded as being discussed during the years of Aristotle, and, as so many things were discussed, it was talked about by philosophers.  They postulated on the various ways in which one could conceivably accomplish the realigning and perfecting of the teeth, and what the costs and benefits of doing so might be.  They also debated whether it was right to do so or not, but that is of little consequence.  They never actually did anything about realigning the teeth at all, besides talk about it, so most of this is of little consequence.  In fact, it would be the Egyptians who first attempted realignment of the teeth, and that wouldn’t be for fifty years more, but indeed, they were the first to play at being an orthodontist.

The Egyptians tried to accomplish many thing with their attempts at realignment of the teeth.  First, they tried to make the teeth more aesthetically pleasing (and if you know anything about Egyptian culture, they did a lot of things purely for the aesthetic look of it, in order to make themselves more attractive or to seem more ‘God-like’, especially).  Secondly, they tried to make sure that, failing the first objective, the teeth got no worse, so far as alignment went.  Finally, they tried to make sure that the mouth didn’t collapse once someone was deceased.  You see, their book of the Dead told that, once you died, you had to go before a god and answer for your crimes and misdeeds in life, and that your misdeeds (and the answers you gave) would be weighed against Roc’s feather.  If your misdeeds were lighter than the feather, you’d be free to go on to the afterlife; if not, you’d be eaten by some terrifying otherworldly crocodile.  Obviously, this meant that having a working mouth is very important if you’re going to be answering for your crimes and sins.

hidden braces for teensOddly, there wasn’t too much by way of improvement in orthodontic sciences up until the nineteen hundreds, and even the improvement in the beginning of the twentieth century wasn’t a huge step forward. The advent of the oldest modern technique for treatment, and one that is still seen in (rare) use, wasn’t until the twenties, and even then, it wasn’t a huge step up in technology, just one that was easier and more effective to use than the ones it preceded, like the french Bandeau.

Braces were the next big step in technology for orthodontists.  They came into use in the seventies, even though the idea wasn’t necessarily new; it had been held up by the lack of an appropriate dental adhesives.  You see, up until the seventies, dental adhesives were viewed as something to be used for the short-term, not the long, and because of this, most models that were in use commonly were only designed to maintain adhesion for a few hours, not for the months (or years) needed for braces to be effective.  Once they had an appropriate adhesive, braces exploded in popularity, to the point that they’re still the most popular treatment method for misaligned teeth, not just in the United States, but around the world!  They’re so popular because they’re so very simple to install in the mouth, to the point that they can be installed anywhere so long as you have the appropriate parts and the necessary sterilized equipment!  We’re even beginning to see the advent of clear braces for teeth straightening, which is an amazing way to both straighten the teeth and be discreet about it!

As time goes forward, there’s little doubt that so will our ability to align teeth, and the beneficiaries of this advance in technology will be the people who need it most.  What a wonderful age of science we live in!

Things to Consider When Planning Your Prefab Grow Room Design

Grow Room DesignSo, you’ve made the most important decision in your path towards growing cannabis: You have decided to grow indoors, with a modular, prefabricated custom grow room. Rest assured, you have made an excellent choice. Amidst the many options for cannabis growing, an operation of this sort is by-far the most controlled, safe, and efficient. With a contained, air-tight, light-tight grow room, you won’t have to worry about any of the problems which normally plague cannabis growers: molds, mites, variations in temperature and humidity, nutrient deficiencies, light leaks, and others. You have chosen the path that will minimize all of these risks, and will maximize your yields and bud quality. If you’re clever enough to have seen that this is the best option, hopefully you have also recognized the next obvious intelligent choice, which is to get your modular grow room installed by a producer who will customize your grow room design to your personal needs and preferences.

So, where do you go from here? Although a quality company will help you with every step of the design process, there are some things to keep in mind, that will help you be ready to begin planning with whatever provider you decide upon. By taking these things into consideration, and having the requisite information at-the-ready, you will minimize the time it takes to get your grow room designed and installed properly. While a professional, modular prefab grow room certainly does minimize your risks, there are still costly mistakes which can be made. To stay a step ahead of the game and be as prepared as you can be, here are a few questions you should be taking into consideration.

Where will you be installing your grow room? Will it be in a garage, or an attic? If so, there may be more temperature variation than there would be in a more insulated room, especially in the winter. Ultimately, your grow room will control for this, but it may end up requiring more power to do so, which is important to keep in mind when you’re planning your costs. If you grow in a room that is more protected from the weather, it will be more efficient. How much more efficient, compared to other factors, will have to be taken into consideration. For instance, if an attic is the only discrete location you have, then it may be worth the extra costs in electricity to keep it warm in the winter, or cool in the Summer. Or, you may want to invest in some insulation.

What will be the dimensions of your grow room? The horizontal square footage of your space will determine how many plants you’ll be able to grow, and therefore, can give you a rough idea of how productive it will be. Additionally, the height of the grow room will determine how tall your plants can get. Are you planning to primarily grow indica, or sativa? This will be an important factor in how tall you will need your grow room to be, because sativa plants generally get much taller than indica, so you will need a taller grow room if you want to grow sativa. If you’re unsure, or think you may do both, it would probably be better to go with a taller room, with height-adjustable lights. Also, if the overall square footage of your grow room is smaller, then variables such as heat, humidity, and temperature will have to be monitored much more closely.

How critical is discretion, in your grow? If you live in a rural area, and are growing in a barn on your property, discretion may be less of a concern, and you may not want to invest as much in odor eliminators. If you live in an apartment building, on the other hand, you will very likely want to take every measure you possibly can to minimize any indication that you are growing cannabis. One of the best ways of doing this is charcoal air filters, which should be offered by your grow room provider. Additional measures can also be taken, such as placing odor neutralizers, such as ONA gel within the vicinity of your grow room, which will eliminate any odors which escape the charcoal filters.

A related question is, what are going to be the power and water needs of your grow room? This question is important not only for discretion, since authorities do monitor water and electricity usage to locate growers, but also purely from a logistical standpoint. Fans, air conditioning, lights, all of these things use a lot of electricity. Is your home or growing space equipped to handle the often sizable electrical requirements of a grow room? This is important information to know, before you can even be sure that you are able to grow, at all. The wattage potential of electrical systems have to be able to handle the power load of several grow lights, and other equipment. Your grow room designer should be able to help you figure this out, but you can save time by finding out yourself what your home or space is capable of supporting, and having the information at-the-ready.

Growing cannabis can be a daunting and delicate endeavor, filled with potential pitfalls, but also has an enormous payoff. Hopefully, with this information, you can be a little bit better informed in preparation for your grow room design process, so you can be ready to start producing your cash crop with as little complication as possible. Happy growing!

Getting a 401k Audit

Retirement is on the minds of many Americans today. As a whole, the country is getting older, and one of the largest generations ever is reaching retirement age in droves. Many of them, as with those just starting out, are going to rely on a 401k to take care of them in the post-work life. A 401k is a beneficial tool that allows employees to contribute a percentage of their pay to special retirement investment account, pre-tax. Taxes will be paid eventually, but not until much later, when the money is withdrawn during retirement. Many firms will actually offer to match employee contributions as a benefit, which can be a huge advantage for employees.

Business AdvisorsGenerally, a 401k account’s funds will be distributed across a variety of different investments. In turn, risks are minimized and the plan is offered more stability. Funds may be invested in mutual funds, stocks, bonds, or one of a wide variety of other options. Usually the company managing the plan will have a plan administrator in charge of selecting investments and overseeing the plan in general. Many CPA services offer this type of function, and it is often offered as part of a comprehensive accounting package.

Certain 401k plans will require a yearly audit. This is mandated by the Internal Revenue Service and simply cannot be avoided. Plans that require mandatory audits or those designated as ‘Large’, which are plans consisting of 100 or more participants. The audit cannot be handled by a company in-house, an independent account firm must be in charge. Of course the firm auditing the plan wants to see that it meets government regulation standards, but they are also taking a look at the plan as a whole. Important documents and plan description and details will be examined at length. The CPA firm will then provide a report to the company managing the plan, assessing where it stands in terms of clearly presenting the important aspects of the plan and its stability to plan participants.

It is essential that 401k plans do not cross any lines and strictly adhere to government guidelines and regulations. Additionally, 401k plans must follow standards laid out at their inception. Accounting firms tasked with 401k audits must be particular and examine all details of the plan quite closely. There is no room for error when it comes to audits. When it comes down to it, people depend on their 401k accounts to allow them to retire at a reasonable age and still enjoy their lives.

During the audit process, an accounting firm must take several questions into consideration. The process must be thorough, and answering a few common questions ensures nothing is left to chance. Let’s look at a few of the questions now:

  • Have there been an ERISA-prohibited transactions?
  • Are all eligible employees allowed equal access to the plan?
  • Are accounts stated accurately?
  • Are payments applied correctly every time?
  • Are tax issues identified and take care of?
  • Are assets being assigned correct values?

These are just a few of the questions that the best CPA firms will ask during a 401k audit. Participants deserve a retirement options that is safe, secure, and stable, and 401k audits help make this a fact. Many 401k plans are going to pass an audit, but there are still benefits from the process. An audit by an excellent firm can easily show a company areas where their plan might be improved. This can help maximize the benefits for employees, in turn increasing company morale. Remember, a company does not have to wait until its 401k plan reaches 100 participants to have an audit. Smart companies are paying for audits well before their 401k plan is denoted as ‘Large.’ It just makes sense.

A 401k plan audit requires quite a bit of preparation from the company who oversees or manages the plan. Many documents will need to be gathered and provided to the firm in charge of the audit. These documents include, but are not limited to, IRS determination and documentation, executed 401k plan documents and amendments, summary plan descriptions, and notes of any material modifications. Of course the accounting firm overseeing the audit will be to provide a more comprehensive list of the necessary documents.

401k plans that are classified as ‘Large’, those with 100 or more participants, have to have audits filed with them when a company’s taxes are filed. The IRS means business when it comes to 401k accounts, and wants to make sure they are being handled properly. The CPA firm in charge of carrying out the audit should be experienced, dedicated, and knowledgeable about 401ks. It’s clear why the IRS requires an independent firm handles the audit, since it’s the only way to get an unbiased evaluation of the plan.

Even if an audit isn’t required because a company’s 401k plan has under 100 participants, it’s a wise idea to have one. As a company grows the participants in the plan will slow creep towards 100, and if a company is already prepared when audits become mandatory, things go a lot smoother. It’s easy to get things working properly when they’re small, then scale up as necessary. The same is true for 401k plans.