Some Tips to Read UPC Barcodes

Reading UPC barcodes could be an easy thing to do if you know on how to read it. There are many kinds of reviews which explain about those things so it is advisable for you to check this article in order to get the best information about the process reading of the codes. First of all, you need to see the code you will check that consists of black and white lines. The lines vary in thickness so you need to be careful in checking them out.

For the second step, you need to examine the starting of the code. You are able to see the code is started with a skinny black line. Then, you can do moving to the center of the code so you will be able to see that a series line of five is existed. Also, you must be sure that you also notice that each of the digits has the uniqueness in the arrangement so you can use it for your needs.

And then, you should assign the values of number to the different lines so you will know that each of them does the functions very well. Besides that, you need to concern about the actual digits which are printed under the barcode’s lines so you will be sure that code you can check out. Each of the digits has the different meaning so you need to be careful in giving attention about it. This information will guide you to know more about the product you will sell or produce.



Pros and Cons of Becoming an LLC

If you are a small business owner and are contemplating becoming an LLC, consider your risks and be aware of the pros and cons of the process. Following are some factors that may help you decide:

Pros

  • Legal protection: The primary advantage of becoming an LLC (limited liability company) is that your personal liability gets limited. So, in case a loan is taken or a debt is incurred for business, the responsibility to repay it is on the business. This way, in case of lawsuits, your personal assets would be protected from being held up as assets that could be held for the recovery of the outstanding amount.
  • Easier to conduct proceedings: By becoming an LLC, you can enjoy liability protection from business debts and lawsuit judgments just like a corporation, but enjoy fewer board meetings, easier management of minutes and the like as you don’t need to run your business with the legal requirements applicable for a corporation. So, if you want, you can even do away with most of the paperwork, record-keeping requirements, meetings of board directors or shareholders etc. No wonder that small business owners find it very useful to enjoy this breathing space offered by an LLC.
  • Tax benefits: By becoming an LLC, you can enjoy several tax benefits. Unlike corporations where you experience double taxation while paying corporate tax on your business income and again while paying dividends to your shareholders, an LLC averts the situation of paying taxes twice. Since the members (owners of LLC) are subject to self-employment taxes, you even stand the chance to enjoy certain tax-favored fringe benefits.
  • No limit on the number of members: 5 or 50 – you can have your choice when it comes to deciding on how many members you want the LLC to have. Even a lone person can form an LLC all by himself/herself.

Cons

Like everything else, LLCs too have their drawback as well:

  • Not every business can become an LLC: Some specific businesses like insurance companies or banks are not allowed to form LLC. Some states even disallow certain professions from forming LLCs. For example, if you have a firm of architects or accountants in California, you can’t become an LLC.
  • Different rules of taxation: Though you may get lured by the tax sops that an LLC generally brings your way, it’s better to check with your state and know about the tax implications before taking the plunge. While some states charge a flat fee or special tax against LLCs, some others may have a sliding scale based on the number of owners or the share of revenue. So, check out to have a clear idea of what your tax liabilities and benefits, if any, will be.
  • May not attract investors: You can’t take your LLC to the public. Even when your business starts making a lot of money, you can’t get it listed on any stock exchange as a limited liability company does not have any stock. Since most venture capitalists tend to expect an initial public offering at some point or the other, your LLC may fail to attract investors due to its sheer limitations.

So, judge both sides of the coin before deciding on whether you would like to take the plunge or not.



Internet Basics: Browsers Are Like a Cake Pan

Ever make a cake? (If not, CLICK HERE to download one for FREE — just joking.)

When you make a cake, you take some of this, and some of that, and even a bit of the other. Then you mix all the stuff up into a big goop in a bowl. Finally, when everything’s in the mix, you pour it all into a cake pan where it gets cooked and shaped into the final product.

That’s what browsers are like.

A browser, such as Internet Explorer or Netscape, is used to cook up and shape all the “stuff” it receives when you request a webpage. That stuff can include text, and tables, and images, and bits of information from a database, and Flash content, and Javascript actions, and a whole bunch of other things.

All the stuff sits on a computer called a server, and when you type in a certain domain name or webpage URL address into your browser, the server grabs all the stuff needed to assemble that webpage (that’s like mixing all the ingredients into a bowl).

Then the server sends all the stuff to the browser (that’s like pouring the cake mix into the cake pan).

The browser has the tough job of making sure the final product takes proper shape – this image here, that text there, this font, that size, this color, and so on.

And that’s why browsers are like a cake pan.

Here’s some FREE browsers you can download and use:

* Internet Explorer: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/downloads/default.mspx

* Netscape: http://www.netscape.com/

* Opera: http://www.opera.com/



ADA Requirements For Your Business Signs

Businesses operate under a host of federal, state and local laws that govern every aspect of operations. Owners may be aware that they have responsibilities under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) but may be unsure what those are. ADA rules regulate subjects from the width of doorways to the design of business signs.

The ADA And Your Business

In 1992 the passage of the American with Disabilities act provided US businesses with a set of guidelines to offer service to all customers regardless of physical limitations. This allowed people with disabilities access to many venues that they were unable to use before.

The ADA has been a positive move for businesses as well as their customers. Before its enactment, companies that wanted to provide full accessibility had no idea where to start. The ADA provides a set of standards so business owners can understand that access for customers with disabilities goes beyond wheelchair ramps and toilet stalls.

One section of the act covers visual displays. Signage is the term for the design of symbols and signs, including font size, placement and color contrast. Creating displays that correspond to the rules of ADA signage allows a business to better serve its customers and to avoid legal and civil penalties.

ADA Signage Requirements

ADA rules on business signs are designed to make these displays usable by anyone. Signs designed under these rules help customers with visual impairments and even customers with normal vision appreciate the clear, simple design.

ADA signage rules lay out clear definitions of appropriate design. For example, certain fonts are difficult to read. However it can be hard to tell which ones are best for large format printing. ADA rules stipulate an acceptable height to width ratio and a stroke width that makes it easier to choose an appropriate font. Font size is based on how far away a sign is meant to be read. Letters must contrast sharply with the background and only certain colors are allowed.

Making signs readable by blind customers means more than just adding Braille. There are guidelines on the size and location of Braille translations so that vision impaired people can find and read them easily. Specific information on ADA signage can be found at the ADA website.

Hire A Professional Sign Company

ADA signage rules can be confusing to someone who has never worked in graphic design before, and even to those who have. The rules may seem restrictive but have been compiled based on studies of what fonts and characters are easiest for any of us to read.

Rather than puzzling out this information yourself, hire a graphic design company with ADA experience. Hiring a professional to design custom displays for your business ensures you get high quality displays that meet or exceed ADA standards. Your displays look more professional and you provide the best level of service to your customers.



Choosing the Right Size for Your Book

There are many advantages in self publishing a book. One is the control that the author has over his book design. As an author, you certainly want your book to come out the way you’ve always envisioned it to be. However, designing a book cover is not as easy as it seems. Even something as simple as deciding on the book size is really not that simple. Remember, book size is an important concern because it greatly affects the saleability of your book. The question is: what possible choices do authors have for book size and what factors do they have to take into account?

Standard vs. Custom Book Size

Most self-publishing companies can print a book in any size the author desires – for a certain price. But, to get an acceptable cost for your book, it is recommended that you choose from the standard book sizes that are commonly available:

  • 5 ½ x 8 ½ inches (216x140mm) – digest size, commonly used for novels and booklets, as well as children’s books
  • 6 x 9 inches (229x152mm) – used for hardcovers and paperbacks
  • 8 ½ x 11 inches (216mmx279mm) – for large format books

These book sizes are very cost-effective compared to customizing the size of your book. The best thing to do in choosing a book size is to get quotes from publishing companies first before you finalize your thoughts. Some companies may have other book sizes they consider as ‘standard’ compared to the ones listed above.

Additional Factors to Consider

Aside from the abovementioned recommendations, the following criteria may affect the decision of the author in choosing how big or small their book size will be:

Topic – Are you publishing a book about romance? If yes, then a paperback size would be the best choice. If it is a book about sample business forms, the best would be a letter-sized book. How about a cookbook? It would really depend on your format and style and other factors below.

Cover design – If you are going to publish a small book, a simple cover design is more desirable. For a more detailed design or one with lots of illustrations, a larger book will better show off the design.

Font – It is difficult to read small fonts in large books since there would appear to be too many words on a page. Thus, large books should have large fonts. Page size and font size often go hand-in-hand.

Print run size – Authors who self publish a short print run, such as a family history of maybe a hundred copies, will realize that it is more economical to use a standard book size compared to a custom size. But remember, as the print run increases, the cost per book of any size usually decreases.

Audience – This factor is mostly important when creating children’s books, which normally come in large sizes. Furthermore, books for senior citizens are recommended to have large fonts. Therefore, it follows that the book size must go along with the size of the font to be used in a book.

Graphics – If you are planning to have tons of illustrations, charts or pictures, a large-sized book gives you the space and vantage point to view these graphics at their best. Small sizes are well-suited for text only books.

One last thing you want to take into consideration is the binding. For example, authors who self publish and want to use comb binding have to make sure their books are not too thick. If the thickness or number of pages cannot be reduced, they should make their book size bigger to lessen the number of pages and solve that problem. Another solution would be to use perfect binding for thicker books. Likewise, books that are too thin are not suitable for perfect binding. Laying the book out in a smaller size would add thickness.

Self-publishing authors need to be careful when choosing a book size. The effort they put into this matter will definitely give great advantage to their book. In the long run, a book that is well designed and sized ideally for the reader is usually the first step in selling your book.



Qualities of a Good Website

What are the qualities of a good website?

It’s a lot simpler than you think!

A good website is simply a site that provides it’s target market with what they desire. Now this wouldn’t be a very long or useful article if I left it at that so I’ll expand on this idea by providing you with seven tips to reach your target market with your website:

1. Easy to Read

Don’t make it hard for your visitors to read the information they’re looking for. Use a font that is large and easy to read. Also don’t make the background of your writing dark and your actual writing light. For example white text on a black background is terrible for reading, so are bright reds, pinks, greens, etc. Don’t mess with this or you’ll lose readers. Keep your text black on a white background for the easiest readability.

2. Easy to Find

Don’t hide the good stuff. Make sure your website navigation makes sense and makes it easy for your visitors to find what they need. It’s best not to have a huge selection on the main page of your website. When faced with too many decisions people usually choose none. Make main categories and then drill down to deeper pages if you need to.

3. Lead Them Through

Don’t expect your visitors to find their way through your site. Take every opportunity you can to lead them through and show them the way.

4. Provide Basics

The basic pages most websites will need are a ‘Home’, ‘About’, ‘Contact’ and ‘FAQ’ page. Most people expect these pages on a website. Provide them.

5. Have a Clear Purpose

Do people know what your website is about when they hit the main page? Is the purpose clear? Make sure your visitors know what your website is about and how it can help them. Don’t make them search for this information or they might end up going somewhere else.

6. Offer Solutions

Are people coming to your website with a problem? Don’t just offer information, make sure to offer solutions. If you are providing information be sure to lead them towards the next step. This will help connect your visitors to what you want and allow you to make more money.

7. Test, Track and Tweak

No website is perfect in the first go. Think of your website as a brand new baby and stay by it’s side as it learns to talk, to walk, to ride it’s bike. Make sure you pay attention to your website and watch as it grows and you’ll be amazed at how intuitively you will be able to make decisions as time goes by.

There you have some qualities of a great website.



Setting Up a Website in Five Easy Steps

Online businesses are booming, and the entrepreneur who fails to find value in internet presence is surely to be pushed in the sidelines. The business will be reduced to the sidelines as an observer, while does who find the value in website presence are the ones that will reap the benefits. So if you business is still without a presence online then here is a sound decision- time to be online and you can make it happen by setting up a website.

Setting up a website means buying a domain and choosing the web host

Setting up a website is not costly, as suggested by others. It can come in cheap if you just know the steps and where to turn to for help if you find setting up a website a tough process to follow. We list five basic steps that can help you in setting up a website. The first step is the registration of domain. Think of the domain as the web address. Make sure that you pay attention to the domain name by choosing memorable names. You will have to pay for the rights of the domain, but the cost is minimal. The next step is choosing a web hosting. Domain and hosting selection are often lumped together, and you can find service providers that offer these two options. There are many firms online that are more than willing to host the website for free or for pay. Choose your web hosting provider well, and it doesn’t mean that because they are cheap you will choose this provider. Look for the one that can offer better value for your money. Ask the question, “Will I get the technical support that I need once the service goes down”? Look for the webhosting provider that can offer round the clock support.

Site planning is an important step in setting up a website

Site planning is an important step as well in setting up a website. You should know what you will include in your website, regardless of whether you do the job alone or you ask for the services of professionals. It is important to list down the important details to be included on the site otherwise you will only end up with an expanding project. The fourth step will involve the designing of the site. You can save on money if you can do all the design works in the site. You can check out the free and the commercial web design packages like Macromedia Dreamweaver. Just remember that the program that you will use in setting up a website will depend on the budget. Remember the three elements in setting up a website design. The website should offer clear navigation, information should be easy to read and in setting up a website, you need to consider that there should be a definite focus.

Setting up a website will also mean taking care of its e-commerce needs

The fifth and last step is marketing the website online. If you are setting up a business website then make sure that you add e-commerce options. In setting up a business website, take care of the payments getaway and the internet merchant account. Setting up a website can be different if you do it for business.



Resume Writing Tips – 5 Ways Not to Get The Job

You have been sitting in front of the computer for hours squinting at your resume, and the words are beginning to spiral into the middle of the screen. You have been following all the rules you found in online resume writing help guides, but still no luck in landing the job you want. There are plenty of articles out there with tips for writing the perfect resume, but not enough that tell you what NOT to do. Sometimes you have to learn what not to do to get something right. Here are the top five resume mistakes:

1. Writing an Untraditional Resume

While creativity is a good thing, leave it for the canvas, not your resume. One of the easiest ways to make it to the trash can rather than your new desk is using unconventional fonts, drawings, scented papers, etc. Busy Human Resources (HR) professionals want things to be easy-to-read and formatted in a clean and professional manner.

2. Concentrating on Your Objective

The purpose of your resume is to showcase your skills, experience and why you will bring value to a potential employer. The worst thing you can do is to use your resume to state what you want rather than what you can offer. Write your resume for the potential employer, not for yourself.

3. Squeezing Everything Onto One Page When You Need More Space

If you have been working professionally for more than 10 years, chances are that you are going to have more valuable information to share with a potential employer than will fit on one page. While you want to be very concise, there is no rule saying your resume has to be one page long. It is more important that you use an easily readable font size and normal margins instead of trying to jam everything onto one page. Try to not go over two pages if you can, but if you have many skills and experience pertaining to a given position, then by all means cross that one page break!

4. Supplying Overly Personal Information

When potential employers want to know your dog’s name, they will ask you for it. The only personal information you should be including in your resume (except for modeling, promotional and acting resumes) is your name, address, email and cell phone number. Don’t include your hobbies, how many kids you have and your favorite color – staffers find this information annoying and will think you’re not professional.

5. Including an Unprofessional Email Address

This one should be a no brainer, but if your email address is “BikerChick6969” or “BeerGuy247”, then you better consider setting up a new professional email account. Gmail and Yahoo are the most popular and you can make a new account for free. Try your first and last name in this format “David.Robles@gmail.com”.

There are resources to help you format and write a successful resume, but if you’re pressed for time or feeling a little like a deer in the headlights, seeking expert help might make the difference. There are many career consulting/resume professionals at just a click away, and chances are that their experience will produce a better vehicle to impress potential employers than the resume you concoct by the seat of your pants, so consider using a Professional Resume Writing Service, and hey, if you’re staying within the same industry, the IRS considers it a tax deductible expense!



CSS – Fun and Fiction

There are numerous ways a Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) can improve our web design and it’s not difficult to implement a few to make our website look better and more user-friendly. I’m all about visually appealing websites. Plain or downright unattractive just doesn’t cut it with me. With the tools designers like myself have today, there is no excuse not to create a site that can be considered eye candy. And to truly design a spectacular website, you will need to make use of, and fully understand, the concept behind Cascading Styling Sheets, or CSS for short.

With CSS your website can easily be launched into the category of superior designing, and looked upon as a digital work of art. Without it, we’re left with only a basic styling framework, and none of the special effect features that CSS allows for.

Take for example text or box shadowing. I love to highlight headers using text shadow because it causes the text to jump out at the visitor, making it easy to see that it is more important than the rest of the text on that page. And let’s face it, with most people scanning pages instead of reading every line, we need to design our pages so it grabs a visitor’s attention, causing them to slow down a little and take notice.

Box shadowing is a similar concept. Many websites use boxes to contain content, but the main problem with throwing a box up and adding text over it, is normally it doesn’t look very pretty, which unfortunately sends a message to the visitor that they can skip over that content. But… if we use a simple box shadow to make the box a little more appealing, the content becomes more attractive, and our chances of the visitor taking the time to read what’s in it increases at least two-fold.

Round corners for boxes or images are another way to make your content a little more interesting, and add a little bit of flair. In times past you had to create the box and corners yourself using Photoshop or some other photo editing application and then save the images as a PNG so they maintained their transparency level. Finally, you had to place them in a dozen or so strategically positioned DIV tags, so they all fit together and looked like a single image, and of course hope that every browser out there read the markup the same.

With CSS you don’t need to do all of that. Now you simply create a rule for a DIV tag with a contrasting background color, like say a white area on a black background, and then add the additional rule to round off the corners ( moz-border-radius: 10px;). If you want a shadow for the box, then simply add (box-shadow: 10px 10px 5px #888;) for that class or id in your CSS file.

But let’s not kid ourselves here. The problem with these techniques, as wonderful as they are, is that they are not generally recognized by Internet Explorer. Not without some serious additional coding that is, and even then it’s tricky and will depend on the version of IE the visitor is using. This leaves some designers scratching their heads wondering if it’s worth the effort.

For me, the answer is a resounding yes. According to my site’s analytic data, the majority of my visitors are using Firefox or Chrome, which do recognize the CSS rules previously mentioned. So why would I leave these nifty tools out of the equation? I shouldn’t and neither should you.

There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of CSS tricks you can use to fancy up your site. Some of the more popular ones are transparency or opacity settings, image rotating, hover boxes for image previewing, alert boxes, round corners, text shadowing, CSS based navigation menus and much, much more.

I say use them as you see fit. Maybe Microsoft will eventually realize they’re product is missing the boat and they’ll actually incorporate allowances for these great code techniques into a future version of Internet Explorer. Until then, I guess those visitors are just missing out.

It’s sad to think that Microsoft led the way in implementing Cascading Style Sheets, first in Internet Explorer 3.0, then improving that support significantly in Internet Explorer 4.0. But while Microsoft’s implementation of CSS1 has thus far always been the best available, it has also failed in completeness and quality to offer a viable alternative to HTML-based layout and formatting techniques.

There are some problems with CSS however, or at least some areas of caution that you should take note of, and I would be remiss if I did not at least mention a few of them. Positioning is probably the main area of difficulty that I see with new coders. Getting some text or an image placed exactly where you want it can sometimes be difficult, especially if you’re trying to center a horizontal menu bar. It’s not impossible of course, but it does take a little more expertise than what the amateur website designer might have.

Next on my list is the wonderful world of floats. Ah yes, float that tag to the left, float that one to the right, now clear. When to do it and when not to float are questions that must be answered individually, and according to the specific site your building. When to clear should be obvious… when floating is no longer desired.

Finally, I’ll mention the reset. So many newbies don’t even consider resetting all of the elements at the beginning of the CSS file. For me, its second nature. It must be done. Why? Because you want the visitor’s browser to clear itself of any “settings” that it may have lingering around from the last site it visited, not to mention the last time they visited your site. This is a very simple process in which you name the tags you want to reset, separated by commas, and then add in the elements to reset, followed by a zero. (i.e. html, body, h1{ margin:0; padding:0; border:0; font-size:100%;}

My advice to learning CSS is to take your time and play with the various settings. In time, you’ll learn what works and what doesn’t. One of the best resources out there in my opinion is the book “CSS, The Missing Manual” by David Sawyer MCFarland. It’s nearly 500 pages of extremely handy and useful information, and right about $21 from Amazon, as of the time of writing this article.



Choosing Children’s Books

Children need to have a variety of reading experiences if they are going to learn to make good decisions. How to choose children’s books for your students is going to be challenging task, but if you follow a few recommended steps, you should end up with a variety of good, informational and interesting books for them to explore as they become discerning readers and decision makers.

Start your search by looking at the covers of books, the first thing your students will see. Your younger students will appreciate a cover that has primary colors, is simple, yet eye catching. The title of the book should be short enough to catch the interest of your reader, yet long enough to tell him or her what the book is about. Photos and clear, crisp illustrations on the cover will appeal to your students and entice them to pick the book up and open it.

The next step in the process of how to choose children’s books for your students is to review the topic or content of the book. Your young readers will want to read books that are interesting, full of fun and adventure. These students are surrounded by information and they will want to read books that are filled with accurate as well as reliable information. To verify this, check the references provided by the author, review his or her credentials, and look for evidence of background research on the topic being presented.

The final three items to pay particular attention to when learning how to choose children’s books for your students are:

o Illustrations: Graphic or visual elements in a text are sure to keep the reader coming back for more as long as they are appropriate for the book. They should be large enough so the child can determine what they are but not so big that they distract from the content of the book. There should be captions and or titles that are simple, yet explain the graphic adequately.

o Organization: Children’s books should be organized in a way that will provide a clear, smooth transition between text and illustrations. If the book warrants it, there should be a table of contents and a glossary that the young reader can easily navigate to find items of interest.

o Font size and Type: This is the final step in your quest to discover how to choose children’s books for your students. Font size and type is important for a number of reasons, readability being the most important. For younger children, the letters should be large and the font style simple. Small, more ornate fonts will be hard to read, distracting them from their goal: comprehension of the material. Check the spacing and placement of the words on the page to be sure the students can easily follow the story from one page to the next.

Choosing which books your young readers will want to read should not be difficult, despite the sheer numbers of available books out there, as long as you follow the steps outlined here.