Pinterest is a pinboard-style, social sharing site where people can pin photos, graghic images, infographics and videos. Although many people originally thought of Pinterest as a place to share images reflecting personal hobbies and interests, the impact on business success when promoting through Pintest cannot be ignored.
In fact Public Relations, SEO & Marketing, Graphics, and Venture Capitalism rank among Pinterest users’ top 10 interests.
Started just 4 years ago (December 2009) Pinterest already boasts over 70 million users, 72% of which are women who love to spend money and have the money to do so. Pinterest has shouldered it’s way between Facebook (20% of Facebook users are on Pinterest every day) and Twitter and is now considered the top social media referral source for business websites.
Pinterest drives more referral traffic than YouTube, LinkedIn and Google+ put together. And traffic arriving to websites from Pinterest is found to be 10% more likely to by and spend on average 10% more than visitors arriving from other social media sites.
Only a handful of Pinterests notable influencers are top selling retailers and magazines – the majority are bloggers, individuals and small businesses. It’s time to start taking this site very seriously.
So how do you set up an optimized business account, get followers and drive traffic to your websites through pinning? Here are 5 Tips to get you started:
Tip #1: Open a Pinterest Business account – it’s free- make sure you optimize it by using your business name and keywords in your Pinterest home page. When you start your business page, you will be asked to create a user name, this is your first opportunity to brand your business on Pinterest.
You don’t have to use your business name if using a focus keyword or keyword phrase would suit your marketing purposes better. I chose to use ‘The Online Video Marketer, ‘ rather than my business name because it was more important for me to optimize for keywords, rather than brand my business name. This also follows,the nomenclature I use for my other social media profiles and helps me get found when people search for online video marketing.
Tip #2: Create targeted pin boards – keep in mind target market, and different aspects of your brand, don’t be afraid to add personal interests. Your prospects and customers are buying from YOU, not your brand.
You are more likely to attract followers if you mix it up. I have several boards where I pin pictures, graphics and videos that are fun and interesting and give my followers more of a sense of community by following me.
Tip #3: Make your website pinnable – ensure that you have plenty of pictures AND VIDEO on your site for pinning by you and others as well. Add a ‘Pin-It’ button to your site to make it easy for visitors to pin to their boards – again adding to your viral reach.
Tip #4: Link your photos and videos back to your website. After you have posted an image or video to your board, re-open it and put your website or web page URL where you want to drive traffic. This is an important step in getting Pinterest traffic to go to your website.
Once you do this, every time one of your pins get ‘liked’ or re-pinned, you are increasing the likelihood that it will result in you getting a referral to your website.
Tip #5: Spend time engaging with other people’s boards – it’s just like any other social media site – you have to ‘pay to play.’ Meaning, if you want others to engage and re-pin your pins, you have to spend some time doing the same.
As with all online marketing activities, you should check your analytics to ensure your efforts are getting results – This allows you to track how many people have been pinning from your website and how many people have viewed your pins. Make adjustments based on your findings.
A detailed description of a new or existing business, including the company’s product or service, marketing plan, financial statements and projections and management principles, require a plan to be implemented. A document that spells out a company’s expected course of action for a specified period usually includes a detailed listing and analysis of risks and uncertainties. For the small business, it should examine the proposed products, the market, the industry, the management policies, the marketing policies, production needs and financial needs. Frequently, it is used as a prospectus for potential investors and lenders.
Think of it as a production line. What’s go in the start are raw materials and unfinished assemblies. Here, the raw materials include:
-Talent and initiative from employees
-Capital -Market position
-The company’s creditworthiness
-The firm’s earning capacity
-Assessment of changes in the marketplace.
It should have four major aspects:
– Its contribution to purpose and objectives
– Its primacy among the manager’s tasks
– Its pervasiveness
– The efficiency of resulting plans.
The Contribution of Planning to Purpose and Objectives: Every plan and all its supporting plans should contribute to the accomplishment of the purpose and objectives of the enterprise.
The Primacy of Planning Manager must plan in such a way that it leads to proper organizing, staffing, leading and controlling which support the accomplishment of enterprise objectives. Planning and controlling are inseparable. Any attempt to control without a plan is meaningless, since there is no way for people to tell whether they are going where they want to go. Plans thus furnish the standards of control.
The Pervasiveness of Planning: Planning is a function of all managers, which vary with each manager’s authority and with the nature of the policies and plans assigned by superiors. If managers are not allowed to a certain degree of discretion and planning responsibility, they are not truly managers.
The Efficiency of Plans: The effectiveness of plan refers to its contribution to the purpose and objectives. Plan is efficient if it achieves its purpose at a reasonable cost, when cost is measured not only in terms of time or money or production but also in the degree of individual and group satisfaction.
Procedures: Procedures are plans that establish a required method of handling future activities. They are chronological sequences of required actions. They are guides to action rather than to thinking and they detail the exact manner in which certain activities must be accomplished.
Rules: Rules are unlike procedures in that they guide action without specifying a time sequence. In fact, a procedure might be looked upon as a sequence of rules. Rule may be a part of procedure.
Programs: Programs are a complex of goals, policies, procedures, rules, task assignments, steps to be taken, resources to be employed and other elements necessary to carry out a given course of action; further supported by budgets.
Budgets: Budget is a statement of expected results expressed in numerical terms. Financial operating budget is often called a “profit plan”. This budget can be expressed in financial terms, in terms of labor- hours, units of product or machine hours or in any other numerically measurable term.
Steps in Planning: Being aware of opportunities, a manager should take a preliminary look at possible future opportunities and see them clearly and completely know where they stand in light of their strengths and weaknesses, understand what problems they wish to solve, and why and know what they expect to gain. Planning requires a realistic diagnosis of the opportunity situation.
Establishing objectives: This is to be done for the long term as well as for the short term. Objectives specify the expected results and indicate the end points of what is to be done, where the primary emphasis is to be placed and what is to be accomplished by the network of strategies, policies, procedures, rules, budgets and programs. Objectives form a hierarchy.
Developing premises: There are assumptions about the environment in which the plan is to be carried out. It is important for all managers involved in planning to agree on the premises. Forecasting is important in premising: what kind of markets will there be? What volume of sales? What prices? What products? What technical developments? What costs? What wage rates? What tax rates and policies? What new plans? How will expansion be financed? What are the long-term trends? Because the future is so complex, it would not be profitable or realistic to make assumption about every detail of the future environment of a plan.
Determining alternative courses: The more common problem is not finding alternatives but reducing the number of alternatives so that the most promising may be analyzed. The planner must usually make a preliminary examination to discover the most fruitful possibilities.
Evaluating alternative courses: From the various alternatives available proper evaluation should be done which may involve ash flow.
Selecting a course: The best alternative should be selected.
Numbering plans by budgeting Final step is giving them meaning by converting them into budgets. The overall budgets of an enterprise represent the sum total of income and expenses, with resultant profit or surplus and the budgets of major balance sheet items such as cash and capital expenditures.
Reminiscent of a medical facility, this plasma center, built only a year before is brimming with white lab coats, face shields and medical gloves. The sound of Velcro and beeps from blood pressure machines and the whirring of hematostats as they separate blood and plasma fill the air.
The appearance is all so sterile and clinical, but the workers here are not medically certified, they are only required to have a high school diploma and all are trained by each other. Of the almost 70 workers in this building, besides the LPN nurses and the one RN, certified phlebotomists (medically trained personnel that collect blood, plasma and tissue samples from patients) are 10 % of the workforce here which is a crapshoot for professionalism in the taking of blood and plasma.
As the donors (people who give a voluntary gift of plasma) are processed through, their vitals are taken and their appearance assessed as per the companies standard operating procedures (SOP). 38% of those interviewed come because they need the money to help pay for food, rent or bills, 60 % donate because the money supplemented their vacations or spending money, the other 2 % came because they believed that they were “Saving Lives.” Most are not your typical college students, but instead housewives, part-time workers or the working poor.
Plasmapherisis (the removal, treatment, and return of blood plasma from blood circulation) began back in the 1940’s in order to harvest clotting agents by the pharmaceutical companies – now there are more than 500 donation centers in the United States and more being built every day.
The buying and selling of Blood and Plasma is a multi-billion dollar per year business. Plasma is more commercial than Blood and can not be synthetically replicated. In 1988, more than 21 years ago, the industry made over 2 billion dollars per year alone making the current numbers staggering, but incredibly secret.
US Federal regulation is more liberal than anywhere else in the world allowing up to 60 liters (127 pints) a year. The next highest producing country is Canada allowing only 15 liters per year, which is the recommendation from the World Health Organization. More than half of the plasma used in medicines worldwide is from the US.
While US donors are the source of 60% of the world’s plasma, foreign companies like huge mosquitoes, are the ones that control the product from Japan, West Germany, Austria and Canada, flying in to the US to puncture the blood and plasma supply and then fly the profits home to feed on them. Not only do foreign companies own the majority of plasma collection centers, the majority of plasma medications are also sold abroad as well.
There are two different types of plasma donations…the first is non-profit. The largest would be The American Red Cross. According to FDA regulations, truly donated plasma and blood, without any funds exchanging hands between the donor and the organization, is the only blood or plasma that can be transfused into humans. If an individual is paid any money at all, for their time or for their plasma, it can not be used to “Save Lives” per se. Because for-profit donation centers feed on the need or the greed of the economic world temperature, non-profit donation centers are suffering. When non-profit donation centers suffer, then those who need plasma: burn, shock or trauma victims go without. Those looking to make a humanitarian donations should be donating blood and plasma at non-profit donation centers like the American Red Cross.
Donations that are “paid” for are sold to drug and research companies and with the economic downturn of 2007-2009, plasma donation centers are on the rise with one of the largest Austrian Pharmaceutical backed donation centers achieving a 19% rise in stock prices within a quarter while other markets were plummeting.
The ethical question of Plasma Donation comes at a cost. Organ donation is not an unusual thing, but bodily “donation” that is suppose to help and not hinder human survival is questionable when big business gets involved, and for-profit donation of blood and plasma is very big business.
Plasma that is donated to drug and research companies is refined down and made into medicines that “Save Lives”. What is the cost of those medicines to those that would die without them? $50,000.00 to $80,000.00 per year, which can really change the slogan, “We Save Lives” to “We Cant Afford to Live”. Those without insurance or government funded backing can not afford the medications or treatments and without those “donated” treatments, die. Most are government funded solutions, which means tax payers, donors or non-donors, are paying to treat those that would die without the treatments that are suppose to be a voluntary gift…so the saying, “Give until it hurts” may be more applicable.
For-profit donation centers started targeting college students in the 1970’s to improve the quality of the plasma supply. Companies speculated that college students should be healthier than the average population. In 1999 a study was conducted by Ohio University which found that university plasma donors were not as healthy as once thought. Paid donors are three times more likely than non-donors and four times more likely then Red Cross donors to drink alcohol five or more times a week. One eighth of non-donors, one quarter of Red Cross Donors to one third of paid donors smoke tobacco. Consumption of toxins or unhealthy lifestyle is not the only issue at hand today, body piercings, tattoos and branding are other issues that pose unhealthy donation bases as well. Body art is not always visible and unless confessed to, can not always be subject to scrutiny by the donation center.
For profit donation centers will pay $8.00 -$20.00 dollars for the first donation and then to encourage the donor to come back, will pay a higher price for the second donation within the seven day period.
Depending on the weight of the individual, the donation center will take 690mL to 880mL per donation. The 880mL bottles bring a price of anywhere from $300.00 to $1,700.00 when sold to the Pharmaceutical companies. If there is anything wrong with the plasma, if it’s hemolysised (infused with red blood cells) or if the plasma is lipemic (excess fat within the plasma) the plasma is sold to veterinarian companies and bring a lesser price for the donation center.
Plasma donation was worth approximately 4.5 billion dollars in 2007. Today there are approximately 1.5 to 2 million donors worldwide and is expected to grow significantly in the struggling economy of 2009.
Because of the rapid growth within the industry, corporations train their workforce to take the donations, paying an average of $10.00 per hour. The workforce usually does not have medical certification or medical training unless they are one of the 8 LPN’s or RN’s that are hired. A licensed medical doctor covers the center with his license, but he is rarely seen on the floor of the center. He comes in maybe once a week to sign charts and watch vitals being taken once on those being trained and then he is off again, taking only his cut of the centers profits. The corporate training is not done by the LPN’s or RN or even by the doctor, it is done by regular employees that do not have medical certification or license.
Corporate training consists of reading of Standard Operating Procedures in a conference room for several hours, sometimes days, then you are put out on the floor with a trainer to watch him/her go through the motions. If you have an efficient trainer, then you can process with professionalism, but if you do not, then most Medical Historians (Someone who takes vitals, transcribed medical information and does basic phlebotomy) struggle and their bedside manner, technique and record keeping will leave much to be desired and the donors do not get the care that they may need.
In this center, processing time is a task master. This center processed 570 donors in one day with an average of 390 customers a day. From the time donors check in with the receptionist until they scan out they are timed. Time is money in this industry. When doing vitals, the Medical Historians are given a maximum of 1 minute 21 seconds to complete the processing of the donor and sending them out to the phlebotomy floor for the donation which is not much time to practice accuracy. There is no time to check your gloves for contamination issues such as plasma, mucus or blood, so donors are subject to cross-contamination every time they come into the center. Company policy states that gloves should only be changed when they are contaminated with blood, torn, cut or every two and one-half hours.
That is to save time between donors and the crack of the whip comes from the managers as they wait with stop-watches and pink slips over their white coated slave labor force. The Medical Historians are moving so fast in order to keep from getting fired that there were 2 contaminations of workers within 2 months…both from filled but broken capillary tubes that were shoved into the workers skin through their gloves or through their lab coats and scrubs and into their skin. One contamination happened when a Medical Historian tried to pull a hair out of her mouth and realized that she had just consumed the previous donors blood. Donors have to ask specifically to have the Medical Historians “change your gloves” before they are allowed to do it.
Phlebotomists on the floor are moving just as fast. They have one minute to clean, find the vein and stick the donor. They can stick 3 times, twice per arm unless there is a loss of red blood cells or the donor is in danger and needing saline, then they can stick the third time for emergencies. This causes the likelihood of Hematomas (Blood that collects under the skin or in an organ) for the donors, large bruises over 3 inches and tender areas on the arm. Sometimes, because a donor has to be stuck twice, both arms result in hematomas. Donors have to heal up for several weeks before they can return to donate, which makes the donation process an unreliable source of income for anyone.
When this center is running at full gear, processing 570 donors per day, most who work an 8 hour shift are not allowed to take lunches and sometimes not allow to take bathroom breaks. The pace is fast and furious and as soon as the donors are processed and the plasma is back in the lab, they tear down the used sets and get ready for the next donor. Used sets can be dangerous, they are suppose to be heat sealed but sometimes if there is equipment failure, the tubing doesn’t get sealed completely and when the phlebotomist pulls the tubes off the machines, plasma can splash up and out into the face, unprotected arms and saturate clothing. The Personal Protective Equipment required by OSHA doesn’t always cover everything it needs to cover, especially since Personal Protective Equipment is not fitted or trained on, so the workers are in constant hazard of contamination, which happened at least once within a 3 month period of time in this center. There are not only hazards to the Employees, but to the donors as well in this atmosphere. Because the center is trying to fill beds as soon as possible, sometimes beds are not cleaned before the donors sit down and donors can find themselves sitting in the blood of the last donor.
There are 22 Right-to-Work states in the US, which means that in order to receive lunch and bathroom breaks, they have to be contractual or within Union Guidelines, if they are not, the Department of Labor can not enforce bathroom breaks or Lunches for the workers. Of the 22 Right-to-Work states, plasma centers flood at least 13 of those states, and build fewer plasma centers in non-right to work states.
Employees have a hard 8 to 10 hour shift in front of them, not only working long hours without breaks, but working in a precise and fast paced environment as well and without the certified medical training that is desired.
Because they do not have the training and because the bottom line pushes ethics, sometimes shortcuts are taken. When the plasma is delivered to the lab, the lab tech has only 30 minutes to process all those bottles. If the bottle is leaking, that bottle has to be thrown out because it is air contaminated, if the bottles take longer then 30 minutes to process before being put in the storage freezer, they are thrown out, a loss of a lot of money. What has happened in the past is that the lab tech will push the bottles back over into more time to process, or the lab tech will process an air contaminated bottle and just wipe it down, or instead of taking samples from each of the plasma bottles as required by FDA, they will open one bottle and take all the samples from that one bottle…because it saves time. These infractions can close a center, but only if it is caught and reported to the FDA, which questions the purity and usability of the plasma in the system and poses the question of contamination of medications as well.
Workers who stay in this business have after 3 months suffer from foot problems, back problems, hip problems, headaches, varicose veins and neck problems that are not covered by Workman’s Comp and the conditions are not covered by OSHA. This doesn’t include the possibility of contamination that may render them with HIV, Hepatitis or other communicable diseases. These are long lasting ailments and conditions with long lasting effects. Although there are only a few that stay in this field longer than 6 months, Supervisory positions are no better.
Supervisors have demanding jobs as well. They oversee the operations to maintain not only FDA standards but also the Company’s SOP (Standard Operating Procedures). Supervisors not only man the course of Medical Historians, but also phlebotomists on the floor and incoming data entry. A supervisor must be trained and tested on all aspects of phlebotomy and medical history as well as incoming data. If the Medical Historians and Phlebotomy work 8 to 10 hour shifts without lunch or bathroom breaks, then the supervisor works 12 hour shifts with the same conditions and with the added responsibility of catching all non-conforming events that may give the center a Quality Incident Report that, depending on the severity, may be reported to the FDA if it effects the health of the public.
When new donors come through the door, they are required to read a “New Donor” booklet, which has in it all the side effects, what to expect and some of the documentation that they will be required to sign. From the time they check in until they are done reading the book, even the donors are timed, up to 10 minutes to read their packet of legal documents. After they are done reading, they are asked for two forms of identification, usually a current driver’s license and social security card will be sufficient. If the driver’s license is not current or an address is not current, then a piece of mail that is dated less than 60 days can be used to verify the address. Social Security must be verified by Social Security Card, current Tax Information or Pay stub.
Plasma donors are usually not aware of side effects and most likely told that plasma donations are safe in the long term…the reality is that 7% of the human population has an anaphylactic reaction to sodium citrate or saline of which they will need intravenous medications immediately. If they do not receive treatment within minutes, the reaction is fatal.
In this center, we have at least 5 to 6 lesser reactions a day, sometimes more. Immediate side effects can be fainting, bleeding, edema at the venipuncture site, nausea, vomiting, drop in blood pressure, faintness, dizziness, blurred vision, coldness, sweating or abdominal cramps.
If allowed to progress the side effects can be tingling around the mouth or in the limbs, muscle cramps, metallic taste in the mouth and further reactions can lead to irregular heartbeat or seizures.
After prolonged donations, 12% of donors will have a lowered level of antibodies, causing an inadequate immune system response and the probability of increased infection or disease for the rest of their lives.
Plasma donations can save lives, especially when given freely and as a humanitarian gesture…drug and research companies would like the public to believe that they are the good guys in order to increase the bottom line in this Multi-billion dollar business, profiting on the generosity of some and the desperation and greed of others, treating donors like Cash Cows grazing on the bottom line.
For-profit donations feed a fire-storm of ethical questions such as, “if selling human organs is immoral, unethical and illegal, then what makes selling Plasma any different?” “If harvesting a human organ and holding it ransom to those that can pay the price to live, if selling it to the highest bidder is wrong, then isn’t harvesting plasma and selling it to those that would die without it the same thing?” What is the cost of a human life? With 15 million donations a year, the plasma industry looks the donor gift horse in the mouth everyday and laughs all the way to the bank. For-Profit plasma companies have a win-win situation…donors give their plasma or practically give their plasma to the industry and the blood sucking, plasma hoarding corporations can turn around and charge $50,000.00 to $80,000.00 a year to allow a person to live, long term cost projections are at $3.7 million to $5.9 million for medications that allow one person to live a normal life…and now we can put a price on what a human life is worth to the plasma industry.
Risk management in financial planning is the systematic approach to the discovery and treatment of risk. The objective is to minimize worry by dealing with the possible losses before they happen.
The process involves:
Step 1: Identification
Step 2: Measurement
Step 3: Method
Step 4: Administration
The process begins by identifying all potential losses that can cause serious financial problems.
(1) Property Losses – The direct loss that requires replacement or repair and indirect loss that requires additional expenses as a result of the loss.
(For example, the damage of the car incurs repair cost and additional expenses to rent another car while the car is being repaired.)
(2) Liability Losses – It arises from the damage of other’ property or personal injury to others.
(For example, the damage to public property as a result of a car accident.)
(3) Personal Losses – The loss of earning power due to death, disability, sickness or unemployment and the extra expenses incurred as a result of injury or illness.
(For example, the loss of employment due to cancer and the required treatment cost in addition to normal living expenses.)
Subsequently, the maximum possible loss (i.e. the severity) associated with the event as well as the probability of occurrence (i.e. the frequency) is quantified.
(1) Property Risk – The replacement cost necessary to replace or repair the damaged asset is estimated by a comparable asset at the current price. Indirect expenses for alternative arrangements like accommodation, food, transport, etc, needs to be taken into account.
(2) Liability Risk – This is considered to be unlimited as it will depend upon the severity of the event and the amount the court awards to the aggrieved party.
(3) Personal Risk – Estimate the present value of the required living expenses and additional expenses per year and computing it over a predetermined number of years at some assumed interest rate and inflation.
Methods Of Treating Risk
A combination of all or several techniques are used together to treat the risk.
(1) Avoidance – The complete elimination of the activity.
This is the most powerful technique, but also the most difficult and may sometimes be impractical. In addition, care must be taken that avoidance of one risk does not create another.
(For example, to avoid the risk associated with flying, never take a flight on the plane.)
(2) Segregation – Separating the risk.
This is a simple technique that involves not putting all your eggs in one basket.
(For example, to avoid both parents dying in a car crash together, travel in separate vehicles.)
(3) Duplication – Have more than one.
This technique requires preparation of additional back up(s).
(For example, to avoid the loss of use of a car, have 2 or more cars.)
(4) Prevention – Forestall the risk from happening.
This technique aims to reduce the frequency of the loss occurring.
(For example, to prevent fires, keep matches away from children.)
(5) Reduction – Minimize the magnitude of loss.
This technique aims to reduce loss severity and can be used before, during or after the loss has occurred.
(For example, to reduce losses as a result of a fire, install smoke detectors, sprinklers and fire extinguishers.)
(6) Retention – Self assumption of risk.
This technique involves retaining the risk consciously or more dangerous as unconsciously to finance one’s own loss.
(For example, having 6 months of income in savings to protect against the risk of unemployment.)
(7) Transfer – Insurance.
This technique transfers the financial consequences to another party.
(This will be covered in more detail as a topic.)
Administration Of Method
The selected methods must be implemented.
And finally to close the loop for the process, new risks must be continually identified and all risks needs to be re-measured when required. Treatment alternatives should also be reviewed.
Are you in need of money? Perhaps you just want more money. Either way, you might be considering asking a lottery winner for money. If so, you would probably go about asking in different ways, depending on whether or not you actually know the person.
If You Know The Lottery Winner
Let me tell you a true story about two women. These two women were best friends for many years. For one reason or another, they drifted apart and didn’t see each other for a few years. Then one of the women won the lottery. It was a massive jackpot worth hundreds of millions of dollars. A few years after she won the lottery, she re-connected with her old friend. Within days of re-connecting, the one woman told the jackpot winner that she had $50,000 worth of medical bills that she just couldn’t pay. Read between the lines – She was indirectly asking for money.
The jackpot winner was more than happy to pay the medical bills for her friend. She told her to just give her the bills and she would take care of it. That would have been great, except that there actually were no medical bills. It was just an excuse for a reason to ask for money. The lottery winner didn’t like that. If the friend just straight out asked for the money, she probably would have given it to her. But her friend lied and insulted her intelligence.
What’s the moral of this story? If you have a friend that won the lottery, don’t come up with a false story to try to get some money. Rather, just ask you friend straight out to give you some. They just might do it.
If You Don’t Know The Lottery Winner
If you’re planning to ask a lottery winner that you’ve never met for money, you should know up front that the odds are against you. A lot of lottery winners, especially new ones that win massive jackpots get inundated with requests for money. Often, those requests come via sob stories that tug on the person’s emotions. You should know that these new lottery winners quickly become immune to these requests and tune them out.
So if you’re planning to ask a stranger for money, don’t come up with sad stories. Just like in the previous example, tell the truth and just say that you’d appreciate it if they could spare some money. They’ll more than likely decline your request, but don’t take it the wrong way – Jackpot winners can’t give money to everybody that asks them for it. Just make sure that you don’t harass anybody while asking them for money – That’s illegal.