Home Based Business – Bring the Boardroom to the Bedroom

What do you think of when you hear the words “home based business”? If you are like a lot of people, you may envision all manner of scams that require you to invest a lot of money upfront, a huge amount of time and very minimal chance of positive returns on your investment. The truth is, there are a lot of business models out there that will live down to those expectations, but there are actually some companies that are worth looking into if you would like to learn about becoming your own boss. These companies can offer you the unique opportunity to decide how, when and where you will work, putting you in charge of your income, rather than leaving it up to someone else.If you have ever worked for someone else, then chances are that you can understand the appeal of a home based business. Think about it. If you are working for someone else right now, you probably get up too early every day, rush around to get ready for work, hurry yourself and your kids out the door when it is still dark, spend time in jammed packed traffic to and from work, then spend all day working hard to make someone else money. You slave at this for as many as 8-12 hours or more a day, rush home, eat then fall into bed exhausted, only to do it all again tomorrow. In the process, you miss out on precious time with your spouse and your kids. You lose the freedom to go where you want, when you want, and you do it all for someone else. Even worse, at the end of the day your loyalty may be rewarded by you being laid off! Especially in today’s time. People who never follow their dreams are going to work for someone who did.In a home based business, you work where and when and as much as you would like. Every hour you put into your work is for the express purpose of putting money in your bank account, and growing your business! As your own boss, you call the shots. You decide when it is time to work, and when it is time to play. You never have to miss another soccer game or dance recital again. Your home based business gives you the freedom to be the kind of parent, spouse and friend that you have always wanted to be.Don’t resign yourself to a life of working for someone else, for limited returns. Give yourself and your family the chance to succeed for yourselves with a home based business. Again, there is a lot of garbage out there, a lot of companies are here today and gone in less then a year. You have to find a company with a foundation, a good reputation, good products, and good system and a killer compensation plan. Basically don’t play around with any little money games. Find a “Real” company and a “Real” business. Some that I would recommend that I know for a fact are legitimate companies, have great reputations and actually have a ton of people making money in them are iLearning Global, LifePath Unlimited, MonaVie, Carbon Copy Pro, the Trump Network, Global Resorts, Yoli, ShopToEarn to name a few.Companies like LifePath Unlimited and iLearning Global are having Huge success due to them being based around Personal Development which is an absolute Exploding industry. Personal Development has grown something like 151% in the past 24 months…in this “bad” economy…these companies have been sky rocketing and having record breaking sales each new month.Everyone on this planet can use some personal development…no matter what business or industry you are in…

Starting Up A Home Based Business Opportunity – Network Marketing

If you are looking for a home based business opportunity, networking marketing is the way to go and the best part is that anybody can do it! It may be an easy endeavor to undertake but you have to remember that you can’t stomp your feet and demand leads or depend on wishful thinking, you have to indulge in some old-fashioned hard work and combine each and every skill you have.That being said, as a home based business opportunity, network marketing is all about selling products and services directly to the target market or through representatives that work for independent firms, also known as agents. If you plan to become such an agent, you will be happy to know that you will receive a certain percentage of the overall sales that the firm makes. If you make sales through downlines, you may get an even bigger cut.Before you get into this field, it is imperative that you read up on all the information available on the subject. When you carry out this research, you will realize that the companies that deal with home based business opportunities such as this one will not do much to ensure that your interests are protected. That being said, network marketing can be very risky but also rewarding at the same time.Coming back to the point, as a home based business opportunity, network marketing will give you a lot of freedom. Firstly, you won’t have to dish out gigantic sums in the form of capital initially and secondly, you will make your own decisions and be accountable to nobody but yourself. It is basically like freelance work- you get paid for the amount of work you do- nothing more, nothing less. This home based business opportunity will also give you a lot of time to work on other things which means that you can treat it as a source of extra or residual income.On the flip side, if you are hesitant about your skills and not too confident about your ability to convince people, you can breathe easy because the company you sign up with will probably enroll you in a training program and make sure that you are up to date with their rules, regulations and requirements. They will tell you all about internet lead generation and give you a brief idea about how you can use it to your advantage and the best part is that you can always refer to their tutorial videos every time you are in a pickle of any sort.In conclusion, it has to be said that as a home based business opportunity, network marketing is heaven sent but make sure that you carry out a comprehensive background check of the company you sign up with. You can’t just trust anybody and everybody these days so if you want to avoid an expensive mistake in the long run, make sure you know what you are doing at every step of the way.

Legitimate Home Based Businesses & 6 Important Questions

Legitimate home based businesses can be hard to find online. But they don’t have to be. Now there are many legitimate home based businesses to choose from. Searching for them and doing some homework is all that is needed. There are some things that you need to do when you are trying to decide if a home based business is legitimate or not. Here are some questions to ask.First: What kind of customer service do they have? Customer service is very important. So check it out. It is easy. Just contact them and see how long it takes for them to answer you. Also notice how they communicate with you then they do respond.Second: What type of products do they provide? Would these products be something that you would want to promote? You don’t want to promote something that is not worth promoting.Third: What does the Better Business Bureau have to say about the business? Are there any complaints against them? This is important to know before you join any business opportunity.Fourth: What do people already in the business have to say? They will be able to tell you better than anyone whether it is a legitimate home based business. What they have to say can tell you volumes. Talk to a lot of people. If you hear hype, listen with wisdom. That will help you to know if this is a good home business.Fifth: Do they actually pay on time? We start home based business to make money. Don’t work hard to make money only to find out that the company will not pay you as promised.Sixth: How long do they say it will take to start making money? What type of help they will provide you? Don’t join a home based business that will promise you that you can get rich quick. That should sound the alarm. These are usually scams. It will take time and effort on your part to start making money with any business opportunity.These are just a few questions that you can ask to find out about a business before you join. Asking these questions will help you to tell if this business is a legitimate home based business. These questions can very quickly tell you what you need to know. When you have the answers you need, you may have found the home based business that you like that is legitimate. When you do, join it and start on your way to making some money.Summary: Finding legitimate home based businesses is easier than you think. By asking these six questions you can find out whether it is legitimate. Some opportunities are scams but there are more legitimate opportunities than you may think.

Sourcing Agents – How Do They Increase the Profitability of an International Business?

In today’s international business market, where competition is so fierce, the importance of choosing the best off shore or on shore sourcing agents has occupied the front seat. Owing to the expertise of different countries in different fields such as manufacturing, product building, etc., it has become increasingly difficult to keep up with their pace.

Many business firms irrespective of their sizes are constantly checking and giving utmost importance to the questions like, “Are we getting the best price quotes for the source we are using? Are the sourcing materials and products bought from the best possible source?”

In order to avoid all these potential complications and have a clear picture of the source, most of the International businesses are using the expertise of sourcing agents both at national and international level. Following information throws some light on the importance of role of sourcing agents and how they can help your business develop at both national and international level.

Sourcing Agent

A good sourcing agent must be capable of reducing at least 20% of the overhead on the purchase department. This includes both the hidden costs as well as the standard costs.

Standard Costs: Some of the standard costs that a sourcing agent should be capable of reducing include and are not limited to the cargo, shipping insurance, customs fee, import tax, dock fee, etc.

Hidden Costs: A good sourcing agent should also be able to minimize some of the hidden costs such as contract fees when hiring new supplier, costs of visiting the supplier, fees incurred due to delay in shipping, custom fees accrued due to inappropriate documentation or due to some missing docs, anti-dumping fees, delays at the shipping terminal due to congestion etc.

International Sourcing Agents

Good international agents make international process of sourcing as easy as a domestic one. These global sourcing companies often offer services such as taking care of the entire offshore manufacturing process along with purchases. International business transactions are made easy with global sourcing companies as they are well versed with all such processes.

IB’s often do not hesitate to pay a ten to twenty percent extra on top of the agreed price to these agents, because of the following benefits:

International Sourcing Agents Often Represent the Supplier

Provide an immediate access to the best suppliers and trustworthy companies that offer the most relevant expertise in minimum time frames.

Some of the global sourcing companies also offer engineering services and lend a hand in the development of new products.

Keep an eye on the price quotes from various all over the world if found necessary.

International agents apart from managing the international communications also handle the translations and arrange site visits at appropriate times.

Sometimes, they can also turn out to be buying agents or project managers for projects that require multiple overseas suppliers.

Outdoor Education Camps With Programs

Summer camps are special camps arranged for people to enjoy their vacation or tour in any adventures. Summer camps comes up with special offers outdoor education camp, leadership camp, science camp, awareness camp and many other social welfare schemes are offered to the public for reasonable prices. Outdoor education forms major part of the education and it is more required for people. Outdoor education is considered has important and essential requirement for most of the people and they fetches more demand among the people. Outdoor education is created and offered specially for kids, children and adults.

The main purpose of estimating and offering outdoor education is to develop self confidence and self esteem among the people. The outdoor education activities, outdoor education courses, outdoor education programs are offered to kids, children, adults by outdoor education schools or outdoor education centers. Outdoor education camps are conducted either inside or outside classrooms. Outdoor education forms major part of the education system and it is more important to be known by the people to come up with every possibility in life. Most of the parents feels better that their children should be aware of outdoor education programs offered and they should compete with outside world.

Outdoor education activities or outdoor education courses are provided by more number of outdoor institutes or adventure outdoor schools. An outdoor education course, outdoor education programs initiates cooperation, coordination, team building, goal settings and spirituality among the students and others. Outdoor education camps are provided by more number of outdoor education institutes or outdoor education schools for reasonable and affordable prices. The outdoor education camp provided will be more worth and valuable for the students who obtains and they are provided under complete knowledge and experience.

Generally, adventure outdoor school or outdoor education schools provides outdoor education activities, outdoor education courses, outdoor education programs to kids, children and adults under prescheduled, guidance and procedures. With regards to qualified, professional and expert outdoor education instructor, outdoor education programs will be offered. Under proper guidance and precautions, outdoor educations will be offered to the people to enable them to know the required outdoor education provided. More number of kids, children and adults are obtaining the outdoor education programs offered.

The outdoor education professionals, experts or instructors guide the kids, children and adults in efficient manner. Generally, outdoor education programs and outdoor education courses are offered to students based on age group, duration of course offered and kind of outdoor education program selected. The outdoor education camp offered will be creative, enthusiastic, innovative and technical appraisement for the students hindering. Outdoor camps will be offered to the students for reasonable price consideration and they are offered by more number of adventure outdoor schools.

Ethics in Business

Sustainable advantage of an organization can be determined by its ethical capability. Ethical capability of an organization is its duty to do what is right. Some organizations such as Enron, Sathyam, and Tyco etc have made false statements in their accounts and cheated both the stakeholders and government. These kind of issues gave rise to the importance of business ethics in business schools all around the world.

Sustainable advantage can be defined as the beneficiary element that determine the long term objectives of an organization, where objectives would be the economic development that generates wealth and meets the needs of the current generation while saving the environment, so future generation can meet their needs as well. There are number of factors that determine the sustainability of an organization, which are its ethics, strategy, employees, financial capital etc. in present scenario, human resource of an organization considered to be its competitive advantage, but it will not provide sustainability. Sustainability of an organization will depend on the impact it has on the people, in the form of trust, honesty, integrity, respect, quality and responsibility. Organizations with poor sustainability will fall back as happened in case of Enron and Sathyam.

Enron was an American energy company founded in 1985 by Kenneth Lay after merging Houston natural gas and internorth( citetation). In early 1990′s Enron sold electricity at market price. At around the same time US congress passed a bill regarding the deregulation sale of natural gas which favored Enron to sell energy at higher prices. In 1992 Enron was the largest merchant of natural gas in North America. Online trading model developed in November 1999 known as Enron online has developed and extended the abilities to negotiate and manage its trading business. By 2001 Enron had both owned and operated gas pipe line, pulp and paper plants, broad band assets, electricity plants and water plants internationally. Enron stock was priced at US $ 83.13 and market capitalization exceeded US$60 billion, and Enron was rated the most innovative large company in America in fortunes most admired companies survey. By the end of 2001 the Enron scandal was revealed. The CEO Jeffrey Skilling with some of the executives have hidden billions in debt from failed deals and projects. Chief financial officer Andrew Fastow and the other executives were able to mislead the board of directors and audit committee by presenting them psydo account statements. Once the scam was published the Enron stock priced at $90 per share in 2000 plummeted to less than $1 by the end of November 2001. This fall in stock value has caused at $11 billion loss for its share holder. The employees of the organization received a limited amount of their salary and pension when it was bankrupted. Several law suits were filed against the company CEO and other executives.

Similar is in case of Sathyam computers, which is termed as the Indian Enron scandal. Sathyam computers were an information technology company which produces software’s headquarters at hyderbad, India. Its chairman Ramalinga Raju produced an account sheet which has a 7000 crore fraud. The chief auditors were also not able to identify this adjustment. As a result of this scam the employees lost their job and chairman was jailed for fraud.

These two cases throw a light on how an organizations as well as economy of the country or in large the world can be impacted with their unethical practices. That, if the organization does not practice ethics will not have sustainability.

Need for the business ethics: for the following

1. Business operates with in the society

2. Every business irrespective of size exists more on ethical mean or in total regard to its social concern to survive long.

3. Business needs to function as responsible corporate citizens in the country.

Business is a part of subsystem of a society, therefore its functioning should contribute to the welfare of the society. If the business earns social sanction of the society, where it exists then it would be able to survive, develop and excel in activities, because only through earning social sanction the business can get loyal customers. Loyal customers are sustainable advantage and therefore can survive in market without which it will collapse and die away. Large organizations put more interest on public, the managers are eager to have public opinion and always seek to maintain a proper image of company in their minds.

Now a day’s minimizing profit is not the only priority of business, it should have sustainability, which can only be achieved through ethical practices. Any organization big or small should follow ethical practices as it brings in a sense of social responsibility which eventually provides sustainability to the organization. Business should also be a responsible corporate citizen which does not allow narrow mentality goals and motives.

Cross culture variability

Ethical practices in a country or society will depend on various factors such as religious, beliefs, historic, traditions, social customs, and existing political and economic rules or policies. For example in Asian countries such as Japan, China etc loyalty to work groups and corporations has strong ethical values. This kind of ethics has been brought down through centuries long traditions, therefore one does not think of oneself but rather think of family, government and others involved with him, thus providing social responsiveness.

Nature of ethics

The concept of ethics deals only with human beings, as they only have the freedom and means to choose free will. Human being can distinguish between good and evil, right and wrong, and just and proper. For example a Japanese employee believes that it Is unethical on his part to attend an interview with other company when he is still with the current company. So human can fix a goal and the means to achieve it. Ethics is also science that nowadays has become a set of systematic knowledge about moral behaviour and conduct. Ethics deals with human conduct which is voluntary and not forced by any person at any circumstances.

Business ethics and profits

The cases of Enron and Sathyam makes a point that ethics and profits are opposed to each other, as when an organisation is ethical it makes short term profit and if the organisation is unethical it makes huge profit. The same cases prove us one more thing that is it makes huge profit unethically but will not sustain in the market. Ethical companies not only make profit but also overcome their competitors and other turbulent changes happening through out the years and have contributed to social welfare. Ethical companies have social responsibilities which allow them to flourish undiminished and make profit. Tata group of companies is one company which follows ethical practises. It is said that the chief executive officer of Tata is also its chief ethics officer. Some of the ethical policies followed by the company include national interest, support from open market economy, gift and donation for social cause, political non alignment, health safety and environment care, quality product and service and regulatory compliance etc. Ratan Tata the present chairman of Tata group has declined from airline industry because he was told to bribe then minister to enter the business, which he claimed to be unethical and against the policies the group follows. His predecessor JRD Tata had set up the first commercial airlines ‘Tata Airlines’ in India which was later overtaken by the government of India and named it as Indian airlines. So besides being a pioneer in airline industry they were not able to procure it because they felt it would not sustain them and it would bring a bad image for the company. This is the reason why people have great respect for Tata group and their ethical practices and policies have created brand loyalty which has helped them to survive in market even though many competitors came.

Cross cultural contradictions

Ethical policies become a problem when the companies are not able to do business at home, therefore the other societies where the ethical policies are liberal or works in their favour. At home they are not allowed to sell products because it is unethical to use unsafe products but they may sell it in other countries where the ethical standards allow them to sell these products. It happens especially with pharma products. Some factories which emit pollutant gases are set up in neighbouring countries because ethical standards at home do not allow the factory to run business. These pollutant gases emitted are dangerous for people and the environment. Still it is ethical in certain countries. These kinds of issues give rise to cross cultural contradiction and exploitation. These issues which arise become difficult for the managers and firms to solve. Therefore the business has responsibility for their country but to four major groups they are society, employees, customers or consumers and investors.(example drugs)

Factors influencing business ethics:

Leadership, strategy and performance, individual characteristics, corporate culture and environment

Leader is a person who leads the people towards achieving a common goal. Leader can be good or bad, great or small they arise out of the needs and opportunities of a particular time and place. Not all leaders are considered to be perfect in their decision making because each and every decision they make will depend upon the character of person which differ from person to person. Character of a person includes their inborn talents, learned and acquired traits which were imposed upon them by life and experience. Leaders are models and mentors to their followers therefore they follow the path way set by their leaders. In a large organisation the top level managers or CEO are considered to be the executive and supervisory leader. The CEO should have strong commitment towards ethics and ethical conduct and should give a constant leadership in renewing the values of an organisation. They play a key role in creating, maintaining and changing the ethical culture. It is necessary for the leader to set good examples, and follows ethics. One such good leader is JRD Tata who set a good example for his successor and they still follow it. Where there are good leaders there will be good ethical practices in business.

Corporate governance: is the set of systems and processes that a company follows to ensure that it is in the best interest of the stake holders. Stakeholders are the shareholders, employees, customers, creditors and the community.

Sustainability has three components according to john elkington’s triple bottom line concept they are economic, social and environmental. According to elkington the business does not have one single goal of attaining profit but to extend the goal set by adding environmental and social values. Thus sustainability has become the new goal set by the organisation.

Environmental perspective: natural resources.

Economic perspective: about the future generation.

Social perspective: over exploiting of employees and not providing equality in gender employment, caste creed and religion based employment employing child labour.

Organisational culture: is the set of shared values, beliefs, goals, norms etc that prevails within an organisation. The organisational culture emphasis on ethics but as it grows it may change, as in the case of tyco where its organisational culture supports unethical practices. If the company makes huge profits in unethical way then individual who joins the organisation would also have to practice unethical things to survive in the company. As in the case of enron where many executives and managers knew that the company was following some illegal and unethical practices, but the executives and the board of directors did not know how to make the ethical decisions and corporate ethical culture. Thus they fall back and managers have to pay in the form of fines and imprisonment.

Business ethics is the application of ethical principle in the organization or business. An organization should produce or make its own ethical cultures, but this ethical culture formulated should be drawn from the concept of what is ethical to all and not what is right for the organization itself. The employees of the organization, also has to follow the same ethical principles. The organisation being ethical will provide certain social responsibilities such as they do not harm the stake holders, the general public and the society as well. “business that treat their employees with dignity and integrity reap rewards in the form of high moral and productivity” (Frederic, Post and Davis).

There are three major types of ethical issues that arise in a business they are, face to face ethics, corporate policy ethics and functional area ethics. Face to face ethical issues happen between the employees of an organization in their day to day organizational life. the employee face these ethical conflicts when their personal standards differs from what their job demands. Corporate policy ethical issues happen in the basic operations of a company. The top level management including the board of directors and CEO’s are responsible for ethical practices of the organization. Functional area ethics issues arise at all functional levels of the organization. For example in the accounting department, if unfair pressure is put on employees to deliver an audit report which has been altered or not showing current accounts of the organization would be un ethical, as it does not follow the standards and policies set by the organization.

Causes for unethical issues:

There are many reasons for an organization to follow unethical practices they are personal gain and selfish interest, competitive pressures on profits, business goals and personal goals, cross cultural contradictions. When an employee gives more importance to his greed or concern for his personal gain rather than any other concerns, irrespective of the harm it can bring to the organization is termed as unethical practices that arise due to personal gain and selfish interest. When a company has tough competitors in a limited or static market; it may engage some unethical practices just to be in business or to protect their profits. If the organization uses some unethical means to achieve its goal that is unaccepted by its stakeholders will give rise to ethical issues under business goal and personal goal. Here the organisaiton has set a goal that would conflict with the personal goal of its stake holders. Under such conditions the individuals involved have two choices either to follow the ethical ways of the organization or “blowing the whistle” on organization.

Environmental perspective relates to the exploitation of natural resources in business. The company should make sure that the natural resources are not exploited; it should sustain the resources so that the future generation can also enjoy them as we did. One such example is the restriction of fishing in the North Sea, to sustain the availability of diminishing cod fish to the consumers.

Economic perspective of sustainability relates to the economic growth and fall in the society. The short term adjustments made by the companies such as bribes and cartels will only be for a short period of time, it will never achieve a long time sustainability the organizations attitude towards the environment in which it is embedded. If the organization does not pay taxes are said to behave unethically similar in the case of organization that does not give donations to public institutions such as schools, hospitals, police and other justice systems.

What Can You Do With A Degree In Nutrition?

Earning a degree focused in nutrition can have many potential career paths other than becoming a nutritionist. There are six main types of nutrition paths to choose from, including teaching nutrition, public health nutrition, nutrition consulting, clinical nutrition, food science, and food service management. Most nutrition jobs should fall within one of these categories.

A degree in nutrition could help individuals land employment as a public health official, dietetic consultant, school food service director, quality control manager, food distributor, or wellness coordinator. Individuals may be employed through health maintenance organizations, school systems, food manufactures, wellness centers, and exercise and fitness centers. Government agencies also have the potential to employ those with degrees in nutrition. Some of the government agencies could include Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program, SNAP- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Department of Health, and U.S. Public Health Services.

While earning a college degree, individuals will most likely be required to study a wide range of courses to gain a well-rounded education. Students could be expected to take courses related to nutrition, consisting of anatomy and physiology, introduction to food science, sociology, bacteriology, chemistry, and biochemistry. By completing an internship, individuals are able to gain hands on experience in the nutrition field before committing to a job or while still in school. Internships can serve as a great way to determine where your interests are, and if obtaining a career in this field is a good fit.

It is important for individuals wanting to succeed in a career in nutrition to possess skills such as organization and planning, strong verbal and written communication, proficient math skills for weights and measures, and interest in the well-being and health of others. To be successful working in nutrition, individuals may be required to advise patients in practicing good nutrition, monitoring diet modifications, and assessing health plans. Those with a degree in nutrition should also be able to monitor food safety conditions and create menus for specific dietary needs.

Depending on your place of employment and job description, individuals with a nutrition degree may be asked to create visuals aids and nutrition manuals that could be useful in teaching. Companies dealing with food service may hire nutrition graduates to create meal plans, ensure food safety, or develop new food products. Salary potential can depend on more than the actual job, but also education level, years of experience, and location of employment.

How to Pursue Online Nutrition Programs

Nutrition science a popular topic

One of the popular subjects in the curriculum of various educational institutions is nutrition science. With increased awareness of nutrition for the upkeep of the health of the individual, now more and more people pay regular visit to the nutrition experts to seek their valuable advice on various issues like nutritious diet, calorie oriented food and on such other related topics. As a result, nutrition technology has become one of the preferred subjects for study.

Nutrition program as a profession

Of course, there are several colleges and other organizations which teach nutrition technology as a part of the curriculum. At the same time, many institutions have started online nutrition programs for the benefit of those who are unable to attend the in house training programs. These online programs are conducted under the supervision and guidance of experts in the field. Many of these institutions teaching online nutrition programs have been accredited to appropriate government bodies. These online institutions teach as per the syllabus prescribed by the concerned authorities.

Course content

The curriculum normally is based on the credit hours. The credit hours depend on the course the student has chosen. For example, a diploma in nutrition science has 30 credit hours. On the other hand a bachelor course has 45 credit hours. These online programs also allow for specialization in nutrition science. Some of the popular fields of specialization include nutrition for sportsmen, nutrition for children, and nutrition for elderly people and so on. There are also several therapeutic nutrition programs like for those suffering from high blood pressure or for those who are obese or diabetic. Normally, students taking up online nutrition programs are taught by using the digital canvas. This helps to create a virtual classroom atmosphere for the student. The student is taught on various issues like human anatomy and physiology, application of nutrition principle for treating various ailments, nutritional therapy and also on counseling patients.

Offers better prospects

The duration of the course is normally nine months to one year. This of course, depends on the course the student has opted. At the end of the course, the students will have to undergo comprehensive examination. Normally, the student is required to undertake the examination in person at the designated place, date and time. Eligible students can opt for higher studies in nutrition technology like masters degree. The course fee varies from institution to institution. Some of the institutions also help the student in finding a suitable placement. Many of the students who have completed the online program on nutrition are of the opinion those who have taken up course at an accredited institution will have brighter chances of securing a suitable placement.

Outdoor – A New Medium For New Audiences

It was written off as a dead industry, particularly with the demise of tobacco advertising. It has been called a blight on the American landscape. It even earned the nickname “pollution on a stick.” But things have changed with outdoor advertising and we’re not talking about your father’s billboards.

Today, the outdoor billboard industry includes not just the small 8-sheet poster along your local rural road; it includes mammoth signs that tower above the tens of thousands of people who pass through Times Square each day. It includes rolling advertisements on the sides of trucks and buses. It includes a plethora of signage at speedways, and in sports stadiums. And it includes “outdoor furniture” signage comprised of bus shelters, benches and just about anyplace else where people congregate.

Like them or not, outdoor billboards are here to stay and the industry has never looked brighter. Overall spending on outdoor advertising is nearly $5 billion, a ten percent growth rate and more than double a decade earlier. Moreover, billboards are the place to see some of the most creative work in advertising, in spite of the fact that you have only a few seconds to capture the viewer’s attention. To those in the industry, outdoor is in.

A Mobile Society

Contemporary social trends favor billboards. Americans are spending fewer hours at home, where TV, cable, magazines, newspapers, books, and the Internet all clamor for attention. People are spending more time than ever in their cars – daily vehicle trips are up 110% since 1970, and the number of cars on the road is up by 147%. For most people stuck in traffic, the only media options are radio and billboards.

Anyone who is old enough to remember the old Burma Shave signs along the highway knows that outdoor billboards can be very engaging and today’s outdoor billboard industry contributes millions of dollars of space to various public service causes.

The new computer-painting technology used by the industry is making outdoor billboards brighter, more exciting, and upbeat. Their messages are typically more clever, humorous and artistic – there’s even a significant awards programs called the “Obie” to recognize outstanding outdoor creative, including a category for PSAs.

The new single-column structures have cleaner lines than the old telephone pole or I-beam structures, and are supporting and complementing today’s crisp, new, bright, architecturally-designed stores, buildings and malls.

Like other rising stars of the information age, billboards have gone high tech. Digital technology developed at MIT has transformed the way billboards are made. Until the 1990s, most billboards were hand-painted on plywood. Quality was inconsistent and when paint faded and wood chipped, billboards became eyesores. Today, computer-painting technology has all but eliminated the old-fashioned sign painter, and plywood has given way to durable vinyl that can be cut to any size, then rolled into tubes for easy shipping. Huge graphics can be produced more quickly and at lower cost, and digital printing ensures faithful reproduction–so that an ad for Levi’s blue jeans looks precisely the same everywhere.

Billionaire John W. Kluge, a major force in the billboard business for four decades, brought computer painting to the market via his company, Metromedia Technologies. From 1959 to 1986, Kluge owned Foster & Kleiser, then the nation’s biggest billboard operator, and Metromedia is now the world leader in large-scale imaging. Other innovators are adding three- dimensional structures, digital tickers, and continuous motion to outdoor ads.

Even though outdoor is only two percent of overall ad spending, its effect is growing, particularly in one-of-a-kind locations such as Times Square and Sunset Boulevard, where exposure is impossible to calculate. Signs there can pop up on the news, in movies and in magazines, and that doesn’t even take into consideration the millions who walk through the areas weekly. “We can’t even tell an advertiser how many impressions they are getting,” says Brian Turner, president of Sherwood Outdoor, which sells 60 site “spectaculars” at One and Two Times Square and 1600 Broadway, making it the 12th largest out­door company in terms of revenue.

Outdoor Goes Green

This New Year’s Eve revelers at Times Square will have a close-up view of the country’s first environmentally friendly billboard. Powered entirely by wind and sun – 16 wind turbines and 64 solar panels – the sign is expected to save $12,000 to $15,000 per month in electricity costs. Multiply this by all the other cities in the country using electrical power for outdoor illumination, and it amounts to a signficant cost savings and eco-friendly outdoor.

A wide range of advertisers such as General Motors’ Cadillac, Samsung, Prudential, NBC, Budweiser, New York State Lottery, even the New York Times pay six-figure monthly rates to hold space for 10 years, a far cry from the days when the signs used to turn over every six months. Times Square is so much in demand that Inter City built a 50 story hotel and 300 foot tower at Broadway and 47th Street with a total of 75,000 square feet of outdoor advertising. “The tower is the largest structure ever built exclusively for advertising,” says Bob Nyland, president of Inter City Premiere. Advertisers include American Express, Apple, AT&T, HBO, Hachette Filipacchi, Levi’s, Morgan Stanley, Nokia and the U.S. Postal Service.

The Morphing of Outdoor

“Outdoor used to be known as the beer, butts, and babes medium,” says Andrea MacDonald, president of MacDonald Media, a New York agency that specializes in out-of-home advertising. Now, she says, “everything’s changed. New technology has made us more creative, and advertisers are seeing billboards in a new light.”

To make sure they stand out in the crowd, modern billboards are taking even new forms. In Chicago, Transit Display International (TDI), wrapped a two car, 96 foot long commuter train with an ad. And in some areas, no space is left uncovered. For example, in New York’s World Trade Center, TDI helped Dodge take over every possible space of the rail station ­ floors, walls, posters, banners, escalators ­ to create a single exhibit. The World Bank draped its building in fabric to support World AIDS Day. Billboards, transit kiosks, posters and other forms of outdoor can be strategically placed around Washington, DC Metro stops at the Pentagon or an executive branch agency such as the Department of Transportation to make a statement about a campaign or issue.

“We’ve had requests for moving, smoking and smelling boards,” says Pat Punch, who is a co-owner of Minneapolis-based Atomic Props, a company that specializes in unique spectaculars. For Poland Springs, Atomic Props created a 30 foot water bottle and an outdoor poster for Jell-O in Times Square serves up a giant spoon with 4,000 smaller spoons.

In Minneapolis, home base for Target, people look forward to a new three dimensional billboard object every month, such as Old Faithful, complete with spray every 10 min­utes, which symbolizes Target’s donation to the nation’s parks. Minneapolis retailer Dayton-Hudson once had three dimensional boxes of candy that emanated a mint scent. Says Punch: “Over the last 10 years, our business has tripled as people see the possibilities.”

Since 1996, the Big Four of billboards–Outdoor Systems, Eller, Clear Channel and Lamar–have spent more than $5 billion to gobble up dozens of mom-and-pop operators, as well as the outdoor divisions of big companies like Gannett and 3M. Together they control about 40% of the revenues generated by the 400,000 or so billboards across America. As industry giants, they can operate efficiently and provide one-stop shopping to national advertisers. Goodwill Communications’s outdoor database has been reduced from over 600 outdoor companies two years ago to just over 400 today, due to consolidations and buy-outs.

PSA Communications Advantages

Outdoor is perhaps the most overlooked medium of all when it comes to launching PSA campaigns. Admittedly, the cost of printing billboard paper can be expensive, but given the typical results we have experienced for clients, we believe that outdoor provides excellent exposure opportunities.

When used to inform the public about public causes, outdoor billboards provide many different communications advantages, and the total universe of outdoor opportunities is almost unlimited, as shown by the following table provided by the Outdoor Advertising Association of America.

First, outdoor is typically available even in towns that are too small to have a radio station or a local newspaper.

Second, billboards can provide communications reach right down to the neighborhood level. This may be useful if your campaign is concentrating on inner city residents or high school students and you can convince the outdoor billboard company to post your PSA messages nearby.

One media buyer for a major advertising agency demonstrates the flexibility of outdoor: “I’m running Russian copy in a New York neighborhood, Filipino in San Francisco, Arabic in Detroit.”

Third, when used in conjunction with other forms of outdoor – sports stadium signage, transit and place-based media – they can provide the communications effectiveness of a local network, giving you reach and frequency throughout the community.

Fourth, public service messages on outdoor billboards are often available because outdoor companies don’t want to have an ugly sign with blank paper staring out at motorists for an extended period of time.

The Foundation for a Better Life, (FBL) in partnership with the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA), launched a nationwide PSA billboard campaign with a dramatic kickoff on the NASDAQ electronic billboard in Times Square. With a theme of “Pass It On,” the billboards are part of a continuing PSA campaign to promote positive values via viral techniques. Over the course of a year, OAAA member advertising companies around the country donated space on more than 10,000 displays for the Pass It On campaign, with an estimated ad value of more than $10 Million.

Created by Jay Schulberg, well known for his famous Milk Mustache ads, each billboard in the Pass It On campaign is meant to underscore a simple, yet galvanizing message. According to Gary Dixon, President of The Foundation for a Better Life, “The Pass It On campaign was created to promote positive values and encourage people to pass them on to others. We’re thrilled to launch it on the NASDAQ board in the very city where the resilience of the American spirit has shown so brightly for the entire world to see.”

Some of the personalities featured in “Pass It On” billboards include: Wayne Gretzky, Muhammad Ali, the Tianamen Square Protester, Mother Teresa, Albert Einstein Winston Churchill and Abraham Lincoln..

Airport Dioramas & Mall Posters

Perhaps the area where outdoor has seen the greatest growth is at airports. The total number of visitors at the top 44 airports in the U.S. tops 765 million passengers and over a half a billion people pass through just the top 10 airports. There are message opportunities now aboard the airlines via in-flight videos, on the drop down tables in each seat, the napkins placed on the tables, and even on the bottom of the security bins where passengers place their items before going through security screening. There are dioramas (backlit signs) in the terminals and on video screens while you wait for your luggage. Like it or not, the messages are inescapable.

One of the leading firms that fabricates the Duratrans material used in airport dioramas is TKO Visual Communications. Manufactured by Kodak, Duratrans is designed for making brilliant display transparencies from color negatives or internegatives. It is available in sheets and rolls which are fabricated to fit various sizes for posting in airports.

“Duratrans is generally regarded in the large format graphics display industry as the benchmark for quality in translucent, backlit graphics,” observes Tom Ortolano of TKO. “It is intended for large format, full-color display of photographic content in a controlled, backlit environment, so that light passes through and illuminates the graphic display, providing maximum color saturation and contrast.”

TKO works closely with the two largest companies controlling signage at airports and shopping malls – J.C. Decaux and Clear Channel Communications. “Since availabilities and sizes are constantly changing almost daily, the best way to get PSA messages posted at these venues is to contact the two companies, share the creative with them and they will order specific sizes to fit their available locations,” Ortolano points out.

According to Ortolano, “the most common size for the initial request should be 62″ wide x 43″ in height overall, with 58″x38″ viewing size, which will work with both companies controlling airport locations. Typically they will order dioramas in five other larger sizes which will be used in key airport locations,” he said.

Shopping Mall Displays

Mall displays come in a variety of different formats and sizes ranging from overhead banners, to exterior signage. Mall banners are large format, double-sided 12′Wx 16′H and 9′W x 12′H frames hung in the atrium of a mall offering commanding exposure to virtually every mall shopper. Faces are printed digitally using high resolution reproduction that vividly recreates each piece of creative. Banners are presented in the vertical “magazine” format and are proportionately identical to magazines (12′x16′, 9′x12′) so only one piece of artwork is required.

Mall posters, the most dominant mall media, measure 4′ wide x 6′ high, are backlit and located at eye level at major decision points in the mall – usually associated with a directory unit. Specialty mall advertising consists of a range of media formats – trumpet banners, decals, escalator wraps – that enable marketers to dominate the mall environment. Located in in major urban malls, specialty media provide a unique branding opportunity to provide consumers with multiple exposure opportunities.

Rail/Transit/Bus Stop Signage

Transit advertising – and corresponding PSA availabilities – are the confluence of several factors. Increasingly transit companies and municipalities that control the space, need more revenue and advertising can provide a hassle-free income stream. Also, due to rising gas prices, the “go green” movement and highway congestion, more people are using mass transit. To reach busy commuters, transit advertising now takes many forms. These range from subway platform signage, ads on the sides, back and interiors of passenger busses and subways. Even the columns and floors of waiting areas are being covered. Similar to airport dioramas, the placement of PSAs in these venues requires a customized approach, working with the various companies that control the space such as CBS Outdoor, and then providing customized signage to fit the various availabilities.

In conclusion, a society constantly in motion, more available locations, and the power of outdoor to convey a compelling message, are all trends that have contributed to the success of outdoor. One thing that hasn’t changed – those who control access to outdoor signage do not want to see an empty sign or poster – and that is what creates almost unlimited opportunities for PSA placement.

What Is the Difference Between Morality and Ethics?

What is the question?

Both ethics and morality assist is in answering the question: What should I do?

We are faced with this question all the time. Too often we make important decisions without giving enough time or process to reaching the best answer. Why not? Often we simply don’t know how to make such decisions. Sometimes we ignore them and hope they will go away, sometimes we follow the advice of others, sometimes we just guess.

If we wish to be responsible for our own future and our own decisions we should spend a little time thinking and trying to make a good decision, a better decision than simply choosing the easiest answer.

So, ethics and morality assist us in answering the question: What should I do?

Do they provide the same answer? No.

Which is the better approach and why?

What is the difference between morality and ethics?

Many of us confuse ethics and morality, many people use them interchangeably. But they are very, very different, related but different. The difference is crucial when making important decisions, even deciding whether you are facing a moral dilemma or an ethical dilemma. Important when discussing such popular topics as religion, sexuality, good and bad, right or wrong. So, take a few minutes now to better understand the difference between morality and ethics.

Please, don’t refer to the dictionary. Dictionaries attempt to capture popular usage and much of popular usage of ethics and morality is very blurred. Here I can show you how to use each word precisely, and make these words as sharp tools to cut through some pretty complicated ideas.

Morality

Morality is a set of rules or guidelines by which we behave. Simple? Yes, very simple but the implications are very important.

Morals answer problems we face in life. Morals are written down; they’re defined answers to defined problems. Examples that come to mind are: Stealing is immoral. Adultery is immoral. Killing another person is immoral. Abortion is immoral. Homosexuality is immoral. Burning the Christian Bible is immoral.

Now you must appreciate that someone must decide upon these rules or guidelines. In the case of the Bible’s Ten Commandments that were handed down from the Mount thousands of years ago, these rules were spoken and written by the Christian God and then possibly transcribed and interpreted by Moses. As a general rule, morality is determined by others and followed by people who share certain values.

The Ten Commandments were a set of ten rules which defined the behaviour of a group of people many years ago. The rules were effective in that they devolved the Ten Commandments into practical laws and a social structure which defined a people. They provided stability and provided the basis for an ongoing identity and development.

The fact that morality provides stability is a very important and powerful aspect of morality. When the environment changes, when the old leaders and mentors die, morality enables their values, their rules to continue. So people have stability. A change in leadership does not mean everyone must start again. People feel and are more secure when things are stable. Change and uncertainty are somewhat scary. Morality provides a basis for a comforting stability.

“Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife” is my recall of (part of) one of the Ten Commandments. Most people would agree that it is not good to try to seduce your neighbour’s wife (which may be the result if you desire her enough). Even today it would result in some pretty nasty outcomes if everyone went around seducing each other’s wife right, left and centre. It could damage the society substantially. So that is a pretty useful rule to apply within most societies then and today.

In summary, morality is a set of common values that provide stability for societies and differentiate between societies.

Ethics

Ethics is an approach, a method of making decisions. Ethics is about deciding to the best of our ability, without fear or favour. It is about being aware of the many aspects of each issue and trying to include them into the decision making process. It is about being aware of the outcome of our decisions, good and bad.

Ethics is about making a well-considered decision and having the moral courage to accept the responsibility of our decision.

Ethics is more a way of approaching decisions, ethics is not a set of values but a way of developing values for a certain situation as it is understood.

Do you see how it differs from morality? Morality is a set of values that are applied, ethics is a way to solve something at we understand it. Ethics can develop morals and as the situation changes ethics can evolve morals.

Let us just return to ethics for now and I shall say more about the strengths and weaknesses of each in more detail further on.

Ethics is a way of reaching an answer in any situation. The aim is to reach the best answer. But all problems are complicated. The more we learn about a problem, the more complicated it becomes.

Let us take a simple example. Common morality states “Thou shall not kill another person.” A drug-crazed killer has shot a dozen students in a classroom and is systematically shooting more students, one every ten seconds. You are situated behind him ten meters away. You have a gun and a clear shot at him. Do you shoot and kill him?

Morality says no.

Ethics tells us we should consider the potential outcome of our decision, how it will affect others and how it affects the world we live in. Ethics tells us to make a decision based upon what we think is right for everything and everyone.

My own take is:

Don’t decide for your own benefit, decide for the benefit of others.
Do the right thing, the nicest thing.
Be aware of the consequences. In part they are our responsibility.
Do we kill him? There is no perfect right or wrong answer here We each must make our own decision and live with the outcomes. If we have done so, then the decision was ethical.
Based upon my understanding of the situation, I would shoot to kill because it is in the best interest of the remaining students. It may have a bad outcome for me, but I am less important than the students. I would judge more good would result from my killing him.

This is making an ethical decision.

However, maybe there is something I didn’t know. Maybe it was a movie being shot and I for whatever reason, was unaware that everyone was acting. Sounds pretty stupid, but such things happen.

The Problems of Morality and Ethics

Morality provides answers. Morality provides solutions. Morals are right, absolute and certain. We can be confident that if we decide based upon morality, it is a solution and correct based upon the morality. Morals are convenient and easy. Few questions are required, thinking is limited, and we follow the rules. This is a great strength and a weakness. Morality provides good answers to many day to day decisions.

There are so many decisions we need to make each day, we cannot spend hours on each of them. This is where morality is strong. We can follow our morals with a fair degree of confidence because in the past they have provided a good outcome. Morals are convenient and easy.

But things change. How do the Ten Commandments handle the internet? Genetic engineering? Pollution? Nuclear power? Global warming? The Ten Commandments do not have an answer for these questions because the questions did not exist or were not asked at that time.

Clearly decision making must evolve to adapt to current circumstances. But morality is characterised by stability, by absolute rules. What about ethics? Ethics is the domain of changed circumstance. Ethics is fluid and adaptable.

Ethics can show us how to evolve our morals, how to make decisions in new situations.

Ethics is better for the tricky decisions, morality is more efficient for the regular problems we face day to day. But be aware, do not get complacent, morality does not question and we often need to understand and question the reasons behind even simple looking problems before making a decision. Take care using morality, ask yourself is the answer obvious or do I need to understand a little more?

Let us use a simple example. The morality “Thou shall not kill another person” seems straightforward.

Hitler was exterminating the Jews in 1939. Was it ethical to declare war on Germany? Is war moral? See above… which is right, correct or best?

Take a more complex example within the context of war. Imagine aircraft pilots shooting civilians because they looked like so called dangerous insurgents. Such decisions were made ethically in their view, they were making a decision for the best interest of other parties at some risk to themselves. In hindsight they may have been wrong, but the decision can well be called ethical. It could equally be called moral because the pilots were following the rules.

Morality is applying predetermined values (usually developed by others) and designed for different problems, different dilemmas at a different time and then not accepting the responsibility of that decision. “I did it because the rule said so.” This in my view is taking the easy option, abrogating responsibility in many cases.

Ethics is applying your values to a problem now and making the best decision possible based upon the available information. Such decisions become your decision and you are responsible for the decision and outcome in part. Ethics is characterised by doubt, unanswered questions and knowing that we can only make our best decisions and that such decisions are not the best for everyone. Every decision has costs and costs are not shared equally. So ethics does not answer the question what is right or wrong, but what is possibly better or worse based upon what is known.

Moral decisions provide certainty, an amount of righteousness. But of course because each society has different morality, each society will make differing moral decisions in some cases. Sometimes this is enough to generate major conflicts despite seemingly almost insignificant differences. The fact that religion is a major factor in conflict demonstrates this. The morality of each religion is different and absolute. Absolute differences are irreconcilable, and generate intolerance.

Ethical decisions provide uncertainty and doubt. Even if societies have differing values, taking an ethical approach permits different solutions and an acceptance that perhaps my decision is not the best for all. This engenders an accepting culture, one which takes a more “live and let live” approach. Doubt is good in that is encourages tolerance.

Ethicists are wracked with doubt. Moralists are absolute in their convictions. Find a smug politician and you have found a moral politician. Find a tormented politician and you have found a more ethical politician.

I will close with another example of where today’s society has a moral value which is at odds with ethical decision making.

Euthanasia. Under the same moral code that states we shall not kill, society today demands we maintain the life of aged damaged people who no longer have any desire to live. Our morality demands we keep their hearts beating, their lungs pumping, using all that modern medicine can offer. Ethics asks the question why we should maintain the life in this failing body propped up by technology. What is the good that comes from locking out the grim reaper a little longer? No one wishes to suffer and finally die ever so slowly, causing grief to their loved ones. Yet society forces this morality onto us all.

I ask you the question who gains from this? Look deep into your heart and think for a moment, think ethically. I suspect that some people gain by saying “We did all we could to keep him alive.” This is a way of justifying an unethical decision. A way of avoiding criticism and blame. Being ethical is accepting the consequences for making the best decisions.

Remember morality is about abrogating responsibility? The dying person makes their decision and wishes to die. For our own selfish reasons, not for their benefit, someone else decides they must continue to suffer and others must suffer so they can be moral.

Euthanasia is ethical in the vast majority of cases, but it is immoral in most societies today. Politicians are largely being unethical by allowing this to continue. They are acting in their self interest – their ego removes their ethical component from their actions.

So, I hope you now understand the difference between morals and ethics. It won’t change the world tomorrow, nor should it, but if perhaps you can just take a little more time to consider important decisions in ethical terms in future then your world will be a better, more tolerant place.

If you want to practice straight away, ask yourself what are the ethical questions associated with smoking, with parenting and junk food, computer games or boxing. What about walking across the road safely on a Don’t Walk sign, forcing children to attend classes where they are disruptive in class, smoking a cigarette, working for an alcohol or uranium mining company. What are the ethics of working for a lobby group, being a politician or a vegetarian?

And recall again, there is no absolutely right or wrong answer. There are better or worse answers, yes. But not right or wrong. The best you can do is better understand the issues, the consequences, and who and what is affected before deciding. You cannot make a truly ethically decision until you are on the spot. And each ethical decision will not be perfect nor please everyone, nor will it be valid forever, the answer may change tomorrow, but such decisions will be yours and the best you can make at the time with the information you have.