Preparing Your Motorcycle For the Winter

So here we are in October, and the overnight and morning hours are a little chilly here in the Northeast of the US. What does this mean? Winter is coming of course, and seems to be coming fast. Most days are now starting out in the low 40's, getting up to maybe the high 50's / low 60's, and then dropping down again into the low 40's overnight.

So, what are you to do if you're not planning on riding through the cold, winter months? You need to prepare your motorcycle and winterize it. There are a few steps you should definitely do to keep your motorcycle safe and warm through those frigid months.

  1. Get the gasoline out of your engine – How do you do that? Start up your motorcycle with the petcock to 'on' and let your bike run for a few minutes. After your motorcycle is idling just fine, flip the petcock to off and let the engine do it's thing by cycling through any fuel that is left in the lines. You'll know as soon as the fuel is out of the engine, as the motorcycle will just stop running (like it stalled). It's OK if you leave some fuel in the tank as it should not cause any damage. But leaving it in your engine could cause serious damage to your motorcycle.
  2. Get a battery tender - A battery tender will keep your motorcycle battery charged throughout the winter so that when you're ready to fire her up, you will not be left with a dead battery. Battery tenders are fairly inexpensive and can be picked up at your local motorcycle shop or order one online.
  3. Clean your motorcycle – you do not want to store your motorcycle for long periods of time with dirt, grime, tar, grease, bugs, etc. all over your bike. Not only is this bad for the paint and chrome, but it's just not right to treat your baby so badly. Clean her up before she takes that long winter's nap. My motorcycle is actually cleaned after every ride. It's only right that my girl be taken care of and treated well through the year.
  4. Find a good spot – Your motorcycle is going to be resting for the next few months, so make sure you find a good location for the winter. The best location would be an attached garage, the next would be an outdoor storage building, and the least favorite would be outside in the elements. The winter elements can do some serious damage if not carefully watched, so I'd recommend making sure your motorcycle is stored in an area that is enclosed. My motorcycle is always stored in my attached garage, and kept in a prime location so as not to get bumped or something dropped on her.
  5. Get a motorcycle cover – just because your motorcycle may be stored in an enclosed area, does not mean you should not further protect her. You can get a cover for as little as $ 20 or as much as $ 100. A motorcycle cover will make sure no additional dirt or dust gets on your bike, and will also help protect any unfortunate bumps or dings. I can not speak for bugs, as they'll find their way into any warm place during the colder months.
  6. Start her up when you can – If there's a decent winter day, sun shinning, and not terribly cold, go ahead and fire up your motorcycle. Let her run for a while, she'll thank you in the spring. Just remember to follow all the steps above to ensure you put your motocycle back to rest properly.

Furniture Store Marketing – When Everyone Is Your Customer, No One is Your Customer!

One of the biggest challenges home furnishing owners must overcome, in order to be successful in this new economy, is the dreaded I-offer-everything-for-everyone syndrome. On the surface this looks like a sure-fire way to get more customers, but it is already proven time and time again that it is not always the most successful way to prosper in your store.

If you are an independent home furnishing retailers, then chances are you have a limited budget and limited space to work with. So, if your store offers several contemporary collections, several ultra-modern collections and some eclectic pieces as well as some early American collections scattered through you store, do you really think that you have enough of any of those styles to satisfy the type of customers who are looking for a specific style? However, style is only one way to target your customer.

In fact, the most successful furniture retailers in my area focus on a couple of things to attract a specific type of customer:

  • Complete living room packages for under $ 2,000 or furnish your entitlement home for under $ 5,000.
  • Long-term low or no interest financing
  • Fast delivery within 3 days or less
  • Lower prices for packages

So, by narrowing down their advertising, they attract a customer that wants to purchase multiple pieces, which in turn, drives the average ticket sale and profits up. They then offer attractive financing terms which attracts customers with good credit and income, while enticing them to spend more money because the customer has longer to pay for it.

Most importantly, they save the customer money by buying more and can get it in their homes in a couple of days. There is also another twist to these retailers. They reward their salespeople handsomely for NOT selling the financing, but getting customers to pay off their balances in less than 90 days.

There is a common slogan in marketing statute, "There are riches in niches." Simply put, this slogan means determine who your most profitable, enjoyable and easy to attract customer is, and then specialize in getting more of those customers to come into your store and buy. You do this by creating a USP (Unique Selling Proposition) that compels your most profitable customer to come back into your business again and again.

What if you reviewed your business over the last couple of years and discovered the following trends about your customers and prospects:

  • Wives initially visited the store without their husbands.
  • Recently married
  • Had three kids
  • Lived within five miles of your store
  • Spent between $ 800 – $ 1500 on sofa, loveseat and tables.
  • Paid by Visa, MasterCard or Discover

Once you have this information, you can redesign your store and business to cater to more of the same types of customers that are currently spending good money in your store.

However, you can only use this information to your advantage if you take the time to find out who your customer is, what is important to them and what they really want.

It may come as a surprise to you, but your customers want more than just a sofa. If you are just selling a sofa, you are missing out on a ton of business. Here are a few of the keys I have discovered over the years:

  • Do not sell mattresses, sell relief from back pain.
  • Do not sell home theater seats, sell the entertainment experience.
  • Do not sell sofas or loveseats, sell comfort and warmth.
  • Do not sell furniture, sell status and prestige.
  • Do not sell interior design, sell ENVY and the WOW factor!

Once you know what your customers really want then, you could use that information to create a USP that attracts more of the same type of customers. For example:

  • "Do not hire expensive interior designers, use our 23 point design checklist and give your home a million dollar look for FREE!"
  • "Discover how to give your home an extreme $ 20,000 makeover, on an $ 8,000 budget."
  • "Your family and friends will say" Oh my gosh! Your home is simply amazing! "In 27 seconds flat … we guarantee it!"

The Secret of Successful Container Gardening

Container gardens are great, and a lot of people are starting to look at container garden ideas today for convenient ways that they can start one. If you don’t have a lot of space but you want to grow some vegetables, flowers, or plants, you need to check out container gardens and how they can work for you. You’ll be amazed how with the right steps and secrets, you’ll know how to grow a container garden that is flourishing and looks outstanding.

Have Containers that Work for You

The great thing with a container garden is that you can use any sort of container that you want. So, if you want to use a container that is a rubber boot, you can do that, and that draws a lot of people to this style of garden. But, no matter what container you are using, you need to make sure that there is proper drainage. There are a few different ways that you can create drainage, you can do a layer of rocks at the bottom so that there is room to drain where the roots won’t grow, or you can go ahead and put holes in the containers. You also need to make sure that the containers that you are using are going to be big enough, you need to have containers that are big enough for the size of the roots that are going to grow, otherwise the plant will die off or you will stunt the growth.

Have the Correct Soil and Light Conditions for What You’re Growing

The other factor that is really important with what you are growing and your container garden is having the correct soil and lighting conditions. With soil, you will find that you may need to have different soils for different plants, so one container may have a different pH than the other soil that is out there. Also, check the light conditions so that you know if the plants that you are growing have enough light. Different plants need different amounts of light, so it will depend on what you are growing in your container garden and how much light that they need. Generally, it is best to give them light that is less harsh, like morning light instead of afternoon light that can actually burn the leaves or harm the plants. Make sure that you have the right soil and light conditions so that your plants can flourish in it and grow to what you want.

Have a successful container garden with all the tools that you need, there are all kinds of little things that you need to do, but knowing these tips and tricks will make it a lot easier to handle. There are all kinds of little tips and tricks that will give you an extremely easy to grow container garden. See what works the best for you and use these container garden ideas to get a great looking container garden that is going to look amazing and be extremely functional, you’ll love it.

Why Search Engine Optimization Is Necessary

When you search for a certain something on a search engine it opens up a number of pages containing possible answers for your search. These answers are your search results and the pages which contain these are the SERP or Search Engine Result Pages. Now, consider the many times that you have probably used a search engine, and the many results which each of these searches have raked up. If you think about it closely you will probably discover that out of all those million SERPs that you have opened up through your searches each time you have probably visited at the very most the first 3 pages of results, the rest you have ignored like they didn 't even exist.

As the owner of a website being thus ignored by visitors and sidelined by search engines has probably kept you up nights wondering exactly how you might better the position of your site. Well the answer is simple; through SEO.

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization refers to a process by means of which a website earns high ranking among the search results, gets a coveted place on the SERP and therey pulls in a large chunk of unique visitors.

Who needs SEO?

Websites can broadly be classified into 4 different types:

Personal sites

Corporate Sites

Sites providing information

E-commerce sites

As is obvious the first two types of websites can hold their own without using SEO. That is because they are target group is in itself a niche and it does not want or need audiences beyond that niche. However, that can not be said for the last two types of websites. If you build a site primarily to circulate information or for commercial use then you would definitely need unique visitors, these may be found only by means of good ranking on SERPs and therefore by means of SEO.

Another important consideration, while on the topic of content, is keywords. Your keywords are words or phrases which summarize or represent the main topic or subject of your site, when a search engine scans the body of your websites text it picks up these repeating words and match them with the words being searched if they match then you get a high ranking.

When selecting your keywords make sure you choose words which are most likely to be used by users searching for a site like yours or subjects covered by your site. After you have selected them sprinkle them abundantly within the text of your site. However be careful that you do not unnecessarily stuff them at inappropriate junctures cause that might attract criticism or even a penalty. Your keyword density per page can be anywhere between 5-15%, depending on of course how skillfully you may choose to repeat them. Make sure that you use your key words / phrases freely in the first two paragraphs of the text. Also, remember to include them in the concluding line of your text. But most importantly use them in your anchor text, certain Search Engines like Google put a lot of importance on the anchor text of your inbound links.

Judge for yourself

Here are the reasons we think optimization is a must, you decide for yourself.

More than 80% of net-users find websites by means of search engines.

90% of these users do not bother to check beyond the first 30 results.

75% of those using search engines intend to buy a product or service.

Professional SEO is twice as effective as all other internet marketing methods and 8 times more effective than banner advertisements.