Who are the Voices for Small Business?

Written by: Samuel K. Burlum, Investigative Reporter And author of The Green Lane, a syndicated column Published on 6/2/18, a SamBurlum.com Exclusive

Tags: Business, Community, Economy, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Small Business

Source: When the small business owner needs a voice, where do they go? We provide a host of some of the largest organizations that advocate for the small business community.

Small Businesses are the life blood of the US economy, and account for half of the total number of jobs and persons employed. Small businesses account for the majority of local economic engines. When Small Businesses need support or a voice to stand up for their concerns, there are a number of organizations they can rely on to advocate on their behalf. Here are a few organizations that have received positive rankings from small business owners:

Association of Washington Business: Since its formation in 1904, Washington’s oldest and largest business association continues to serve as the state’s chamber of commerce as well as the manufacturing and technology association. AWB advocates on behalf of businesses of all sizes and from all industries, working to unify and find solutions to issues facing Washington employers, their employees and communities. AWB is located at: 1414 Cherry St. SE, Olympia, WA 98501, toll free number: 800-521-9325, e-mail: members@awb.org. Additional information can be found on their website: https://www.awb.org.

Entrepreneurs’ Organization: Founded in 1987, EO is a global business network that enables business owners to learn from each other by providing numerous resources to assist in educating and inspiring personal and professional growth. EO has international locations in Singapore, Belgium, Panama, and Canada, EO’s global headquarters is located at: 500 Montgomery Street, Suite 700, Alexandria, VA 22314, telephone: 1-703-519-6700. Additional information can be found on their website: https://www.eonetwork.org.

Minority Business Development Agency: Minority Business Development Agency is an agency of the US Dept. of Commerce. Their focus is to assist in the development and growth of minority-owned businesses, utilizing private and public sector programs, policy, and research. Additional information can be found at: https://www.mbda.gov.

National Association for the Self-Employed: Since 1981, NASE – the National Association for the Self-Employed, has been the nation’s leading resource for entrepreneurs, utilizing publications, media relations and a foundation with which entrepreneurs and their small businesses can benefit from. It is the largest nonprofit, nonpartisan association of its kind in the US. NASE is located in Annapolis Junction, MD 20701-0241, telephone: (US) 1-800-649-6273 and (AK & HI) 1-800-232-6273. Additional information can be found on their website: http://www.nase.org.

National Business Association: The National Business Association (NBA) has been working alongside small business owners for 35 years, providing resources and benefits needed for business owners to succeed. The NBA can be reached by telephone: 1-800-456-0440. Additional information can be found on their website: nationalbusiness.org.

National Federation of Independent Businesses: Founded in 1943, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), is the largest small business association in the US, working to defend the right of small business owners to own and operate their businesses without undue government interference. NFIB has offices in all 50 state capitals, including Washington, D.C., with its headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee. They can be reached by calling: 1-800-NFIB-NOW, or 615-872-5800. Additional information can be found on their website: www.nfib.com.

National Minority Supplier Development Council: National Minority Supplier Development Council is a non-profit organization that advances business opportunities for certified minority business enterprises and connects them to corporate members, building long term strategic partnerships which encourage economic commerce between large corporate interests and locally developed small businesses owned by minority men and women. NMSDC also assists minority owned small businesses to obtain their certifications. NMSDC is located at 1359 Broadway, 10th Floor, Suite 1000, NY, NY 10018. You can also call NMSDC at (212)-944-2430 or through the NMSDC website: www.nmsdc.org

National Retail Federation: The National Retail Federation (NRF) is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing retailers from over 45 countries, including the US. Their mission is to use advocacy, communications and education with which to promote the best interests of the retail industry. The NRF is located at 1101 New York Ave. NW, Washington, DC, telephone: 1-800-673-4692, or 1-202-783-7971. Additional information can be found on their website: https://nrf.com.

National Small Business Association: Since 1990, the National Small Business Association, Inc. has provided small business owners, their employees, and retirees access to innovative services, resources, and benefits, such as collegiate scholarship awards to eligible NSBA members and their families. The NSBA is committed to small business advocacy and public awareness. Telephone: 1-888-800-3416, and email: contact@nsba.net. Additional information can be found on their website: http://www.nsba.net.

Owner Operators Independent Drivers Association: Starting in 1973, the international Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association represents the interests of independent owner-operators and professional drivers on every issue affecting truckers in all 50 states and Canada. OOIDA seek to ensure that truckers are treated with equality and to ensure highway safety and responsibility among all highway users, as well as improve the business climate for all truck operators. Located at 1 NW OOIDA Drive, Grain Valley, MO 64029; telephone: 1-800-444-5791. Additional information can be found on their website: http://www.ooida.com.

Small Business Administration: Founded on July 30, 1953, the US Small Business Administration focuses on four main venues with which it works: assistance to capital, entrepreneurial development, government contracting and advocacy for small business across the United States. The SBA provides millions of loans, loan guarantees, contracts, counseling sessions and various other forms of resource and assistance to small businesses. The SBA has several key locations, with a toll-free number: 1-800-827-5722. Additional information can be found on their website: https://www.sba.gov.

Small Business Association of America: Since 1964, The Small Business Association of America has provided insured benefits, discount benefit plans and services to its members, who included small business owners, those self-employed, individuals and families. Monthly dues are required. SBA is a non-profit organization located in Washington DC. Additional information can be found on their website: https://www.sbaamerica.com.

Small Business International: Small Business International provides guidance and resources when a small business entertains the possibility of connecting with international partners, including matching products and services with over 80,000 other members. Business can find out more information about importing or exporting, trade laws and compliance, and more. Visit Small Business International at www.smallbusinessinternational.com

Small Business Owners & Professionals Association: Small Business Owners and Professionals Association of Canada is a non-profit organization founded with the mission to provide small business owners, their employees and retirees access to a wide variety of services, programs, information and benefits, such as sponsorship activities, networking opportunities, scholarships, and advocacy, all to aid in the success of their businesses. Additional information can be found on their website: http://sboapa.org.

United States Association for Small Business & Entrepreneurship:  The US Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship is an organization that seeks to assist the entrepreneurship community through teaching, scholarship, and practice opportunities. The USASBE includes members who are teachers, researchers, program directors and practitioners. Located at: 1214 Hyland Hall, 800 W. Main St., Whitewater, WI 53190, telephone: 262-472-1449. Additional information can be found on their website: http://www.usasbe.org.

US Chamber of Commerce: Founded on April 22, 1912, The US Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business organization representing the interests of over 3 million businesses with 3 main areas of focus: advocacy, community, and leadership. Members include mom-and-pop shops, local chambers, large corporations and leading industry associations. The USCC is located at: 1615 H Street, NJ, Washington, DC 20062-2000, telephone: 1-800-638-6582. Additional information can be found on their website: https://www.uschamber.com.

Young Entrepreneurs Council: Young Entrepreneurs Council provides all the tools needed for its members to become successful business entrepreneurs. The YEC staff utilizes their extensive knowledge, networking opportunities, media exposure, and personal branding development to bring their members from novice to polished professional. YEC is located at: 745 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, MA 02110, email: info@yec.co. Additional information can be found at: https://yec.co.

Samuel K. Burlum is an Investigative Reporter who authors articles related to economic development, innovation, green technology, business strategy, and public policy concerns. Samuel K. Burlum is also a career entrepreneur, who currently lends his expertise as a Consultant firm to start-up companies, small businesses, and mid-size enterprises, providing advisement in several areas including strategic business planning, business development, supply chain management, and systems integration. He is also author of “The Race to Protect Our Most Important Natural Resource-Water,” and “Main Street Survival Guide for Small Businesses.”

 

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Effective Crowdfunding Techniques

Written by: Samuel K. Burlum, Investigative Reporter And author of The Green Lane, a syndicated column Published on 5/22/18, a SamBurlum.com Exclusive

Tags: Business, Community, Crowdfunding, Economy, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Small Business

Source: When it comes to raising money for your business online, there are several platforms available depending on your business’s value proposition, but getting an audience to review and take action in becoming a donor is the more difficult goal. Here are a few of the most effective techniques that will assist your business with its crowdfunding goals.

Kickstarter, Indiegogo and GoFundMe are three of the most popular fundraising platforms for pre-launching a unique value proposition online. The most popular campaigns consist of book projects, market disruption technologies, and other products designed to satisfy a need or solve a problem. Hundreds of entrepreneurs have utilized online crowdfunding platforms to get their offering to market. Not every campaign launched is a success. Some of the latest and greatest well thought out ideas sizzle out due to the lack of integration of methods in promoting the campaign itself and/or lack of audience engagement. Here are a few of the most effective crowdfunding practices that can enable your campaign to be a bigger success…

1). Set reasonable goals. Not every crowdfunding campaign will be able to sell out every perk and end up with millions of dollars at the end. It is better to set reasonable and obtainable financial goals based on your current business audience and following. It is always better to set a lower financial goal, offer many perk packages, and over shoot the expectations. When a goal is considered unrealistic, most campaign contributors will skip over and move onto the next campaign in fear that in the event your campaign does not reach its goals, it will not be in a position to deliver on the perks it offers.

2). Maximize the term of the campaign. Crowdfunding campaigns need plenty of time to be marketed, showcased, and shared with an audience of potential contributors. Setting the length of the term of the campaign to at least sixty days will allow for your campaign to be seen by more people. The longer a campaign is open, the more opportunities you have to update the campaign, and adjust posts and project progress with your following audience. As the number of contributors climbs, more people will be open and willing to contribute to the campaign. A campaign that has attracted traffic, has more reach and draws even more attention. Allow yourself enough time to work out the formula for success.

3). Don’t be afraid to tell your story. Crowdfunding is an opportunity to share your “why” behind the project and the “what” the value proposition is.  It is wise to share how you came to the idea you did (your motive and intention); and a clear description of the deliverable (the what). Contributors like to feel like they are helping someone out that has lent their struggle to solving a problem with their value proposition. Contributors want to believe in the people behind the perk as much as they desire to believe in the value of the perk itself. It is fine to be passionate – this is where you also get to pitch you.

4). Be clear in describing what is in it for the contributor. Any time a potential consumer contemplates to part with their money, they analyze a series of self-discovery questions. “How will this change my life?” “Do I really need the perk?” “Will this product-book-technology really help people?” “Will they (the campaigner) be able to deliver?” And most of all, “What’s in it for me?”  Ask yourself, if you were the potential contributor, do you really need this in your life? And then ask yourself, if you do purchase the perk, what will the perk really do for you? Your perk packages should be something everyone wants or can appreciate. A true and clear representation of the value of your perk will often determine how much risk a contributor is willing to take. Is it something anyone can get in a local store, or is it unique and limited?

5). Engage the crowd. Crowdfunding was designed to have two functions:

  • To raise money for a cause
  • To collect feedback from potential consumers

The more engaging a campaign with a group of followers is, the higher the probability is that your campaign will have more contributors. Crowdfunding allows for both the inventor/entrepreneur and for the market to have an early conversation about the product offering. This should also give the campaigner valuable data to improve the make and model of their concept when necessary. Don’t be afraid to answer questions, provide test results, and make changes according to the positive feedback you receive. The more information you can share in an open dialog the more willing a contributor will be in supporting your cause.

6). A great marketing strategy drives every well-funded campaign goal. Effective marketing and advertising methods can assure that a larger audience views your campaign. Your marketing strategy should employ a mix of marketing tools, many of which have little or no cost. Make sure the marketing of your crowdfunding campaign includes a mix of social media, blog content, press releases, video content, photo content, search engine optimization, articles, testimonials, endorsements, product-book reviews, back link integration, and some use of traditional advertising. You will need to monitor and update marketing metrics, so you can adjust your marketing mix according to how potential contributors respond to your message.

7). Perform your due diligence. There is nothing new under the sun, and the same goes for crowdfunding. Even if your product is the first of its kind, there may be a similar market solution or competitor in your industry space. Research the “problem” and review the “solutions” other entrepreneurs have offered to the market. Then research how many of those entrepreneurs employed crowdfunding to upstart their enterprise. Chances are that there will be a number of campaigns that were very successful and some campaigns that were an utter failure. Make a list of the techniques that were most effective and the mistakes made that caused a campaign to flop. Compare these techniques against the list of practices you desire to employ in sharing your campaign.

8). Have a complete understanding of your potential audience. You must have a clear understanding of the audience you desire to enroll in your campaign. The demographics of the audience and the geographic location of potential campaign contributors can have an effect on whether your campaign is a success or failure. For instance, most digital or complicated electronic devices are more popular with younger generation donors. In contrast, if you have a very traditional product offering, then you need to identify, and target your campaign to, the audience that will have the most interest in your value proposition.

9). Be transparent with how you plan to spend your campaign funds. Campaign contributors want to know if you have a financial plan in place for spending or saving the money in which they have pledged. Most campaigns have best succeeded by using the campaign contributions to fulfill actual product orders. Most campaign contributors want to pre-pay for the unreleased product or book before everyone else in the neighborhood has it. Be prepared to plan to give back all of your campaign contributions in the event you do not meet your goals.

10). Set a reasonable timetable of delivery. Truth is your value proposition should be almost market ready. Crowdfunding should not be the only source for funding your project, nor should your campaign’s success or failure determine if your product is going to ever be manufactured. Set a reasonable delivery date that campaign contributors can expect their perk. In the event your project takes longer than expected, it is important to share with your contributors about the delay and updates of progress until the project orders are fulfilled.

11). Show that you are willing to invest into yourself. Most campaign contributors want to see that the entrepreneur has some of their own risk involved. There are two basic types of investment you are going to be required to make in your own project. The first is monetary. You must have some of your own capital at work. Having the ability to share with potential donors the actual amount of hard cash investment you have at stake before asking for outside financial resources always strikes a positive cord. The other investment you will have to make is sweat equity. Provide detail with contributors how much time you have invested and how much work you have put behind the project. You can share with the audience the functions and tasks you are personally responsible for. It is also good to provide some back story of your experiences and regarding your abilities to deliver upon those said tasks.

Each crowdfunding campaign has its own unique value proposition, and brings with it each entrepreneur’s story. The more thought you invest into each of these areas of your campaign, the greater the probability that a larger audience will take notice and interest in your campaign.

Samuel K. Burlum is an Investigative Reporter who authors articles related to economic development, innovation, green technology, business strategy, and public policy concerns. Samuel K. Burlum is also a career entrepreneur, who currently lends his expertise as a Consultant firm to start-up companies, small businesses, and mid-size enterprises, providing advisement in several areas including strategic business planning, business development, supply chain management, and systems integration. He is also author of “The Race to Protect Our Most Important Natural Resource-Water,” and “Main Street Survival Guide for Small Businesses.”

Why is Fashion So Important?

Written by: Samuel K. Burlum, Investigative Reporter and author of The Green Lane, a syndicated column, Published on 5/17/2018, a SamBurlum.com Exclusive

Tags: business, community, fashion, clothing, financial investment, social-economic status

Source: Throughout history, society has turned to the latest fashion statement as a mark of social status. Why is fashion so important? Why do so many people pay attention to it, and why does it even matter?

Fashion in clothing has always stood as a social economic symbol for individuals that were in tune with the times. For some, clothing is just fabric that serves the purpose of covering and protecting the body. For others, fashion is a form of living art in motion.

It is believed by many in the fashion industry that fashion is a way for individuals to express themselves. Each color and type of fabric has a meaning, and matches a personality type. When colors and fabrics are mixed, each combination tells a story about the person wearing it, much the same as it does of the person or company that designed it. Each fashion trend has a “look” or style that best reflects individual personality and demeanor. Every person contributes a personal touch to each day’s outfit.

For instance, navy blue and a mixture of gray colors for business suits and outfits are considered the most professional in the office environment; however, if you are at a trade show trying to attract attention, you might wear white or bright colors to get noticed by people. Such “rules” for fashion usually come from corporate dress codes, with the intent of being neutral and objective to the audience you are trying to communicate with.

Fashion itself has always been a reflection of the sign of the times. Whether it is for a social economic reason, political statement, or within a culture’s tradition, fashion has always played a role in communicating the “message” of a people or a message of the times. Each culture has its own unique traditional dress that reflects its community’s belief system, whether it be philosophical or religious. As technology has improved manufacturing capabilities, fashion has gone from being “homemade” to more mass produced, thus more audiences may wear similar clothing than in the past.

A newer trend in clothing fashion goes beyond purpose, function and the traditional forms of influence to include becoming mobile billboards for the fashion brands themselves. If you take a look at fashion brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, GUESS and Juicy Couture, their signature brands have become the focus, not the people wearing them. Their ad campaigns can make people feel that if they do not own a Hilfiger or GUESS article of clothing, they are not part of the cool crowd. Other clothing brands focus on becoming high energy, luxury life style brands, thus owning their clothing becomes a status symbol.

For others, fashion, style and choice of brands are determined primarily by an individual’s personal passion, hobby or cause, making their clothing into their own personal billboard. Some examples of this are seen in sports apparel, racing, motorcycle apparel and brands committed to environmental sustainability and human rights.

Fashion has become a living art form, and though most average working class individuals may never spend thousands of dollars on one single article of clothing, individuals have come to appreciate the many artistic designs presented on the runway or showcased on models in department stores. This work of art says something to each person that views it. Some of these designs may be ridiculous to wear in any daily situation, however, the design itself may spur off other creative ideas because of the shapes, colors, or materials used to create the living art.

It has also been said that we feel the way we look. As human beings, we are very visual people. How we see ourselves in the mirror before leaving our homes for the day may be a reflection of how we feel about ourselves. Have you ever put on an article of clothing such as a suit and tie or a dress and instantly felt better about yourself? Showing that we are willing to invest into ourselves before we leave home for an important meeting, or for a family or social event, usually will reflect the response that we demand from others on how they view us. Though we are taught not to judge a person by their appearance, we do; and it’s the first impression that lasts the longest in our mind.

Fashion is not just clothing. It is a representation of an industry that employs millions of people. From designers to production line manufacturing, from marketing and advertising to retail workers, many jobs and economic foundations are based on the fashion industry. The next time you choose a piece of clothing from the rack, ask yourself how many people were involved with the final product you can touch and see in the store. Even the raw materials had to be grown or harvested by a farmer or field hand.

Ultimately, fashion is a personal choice, whether you chose your style to serve a specific purpose or it’s to impress others around you, fashion is meant to be the personalized message you dare to share with others. For some, fashion trends are not that important, but rather a matter of form and functionality. Whatever your view, it is reflected in how you present yourself.

Samuel K. Burlum is an Investigative Reporter who authors articles related to economic development, innovation, green technology, business strategy, and public policy concerns. Samuel K. Burlum is also a career entrepreneur, who currently lends his expertise as a Consultant to start-up companies, small businesses, and mid-size enterprises, providing advisement in several areas including strategic business planning, business development, supply chain management, and systems integration. He is also author of “The Race to Protect Our Most Important Natural Resource-Water,” and “Main Street Survival Guide for Small Businesses.”

 

Crowdfunding Options for Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses

Written by: Samuel K. Burlum, Investigative Reporter And author of The Green Lane, a syndicated column, Published on 5/8/18, a SamBurlum.com Exclusive

Tags: Business, Community, Crowdfunding, Economy, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Small Business

Source: Many small start-up businesses and tech ventures in search of capital turn to popular online platforms for crowd fundraising of financial resources to get their concept off the ground and launched into market. Indiegogo, Kickstarter, and GoFundMe, to name a few, offer solutions in generating cash to fund new ideas. How do you get people to contribute to your cause?  We take a look at some of the most effective crowdfunding techniques.

In the last decade, there have been a number of crowdfunding platforms that offer a menu of fund raising options, including the launch and growth of Indiegogo, Kickstarter, and GoFundMe. A potential campaign contributor can find a variety of crowd fundraising campaigns that range from an inventor who is in search of a few thousand dollars, to a large, corporate-backed venture that is accepting pre-market orders for their new value creation. Each platform specializes in their own niche offering, and provides a formatted recipe for what works in getting campaign contributions.

For instance, Indiegogo mandates that campaigners build and maintain a very aggressive plan that engages with multiple audiences from the campaign’s inception. As a part of the Indiegogo playbook, campaigners must make weekly posts and provide monthly updates for campaigns that have transitioned from either a 30 or 60 day campaign to their long term product called InDemand.  Indiegogo shares that campaigns must include video and photo content as part of their message in sharing their offering with potential contributors.

Kickstarter is also a leader in assisting with the introduction of innovative products and new books, music and other forms of art to market. What makes Kickstarter so successful for some entrepreneurs are the tools available that Kickstarter offers to promote their campaigns. Crowdfunding campaigns that have the highest rate of success with Kickstarter are those that offer something that is new, solve a problem, and offer something practical that people are willing to buy. Most products presented on Kickstarter are beyond concept and are ready for manufacturing and delivery. Kickstarter has helped products get more traction online, and has served as an interim online e-commerce site for product sales while entrepreneurs are setting up a permanent place to market their value proposition.

Most people use GoFundMe as a social cause donation site. For many individuals and groups needing only a few thousand dollars of funding for a personal project, GoFundMe has become the crowdfunding platform of choice. From setting up and taking donations for a funeral, to sponsoring a local sports team which is trying to obtain funding so they can travel to an event, GoFundMe has provided millions of individuals and non-profits the ability to quickly gather up a few extra dollars in a time of need.

So what are some of the most effective practices for marketing your crowdfund project? When marketing to potential funders, social media has become the mainstay platform to inform your audience of close friends and connections about your cause or value proposition. Facebook gives you an opportunity to spread the word to your friends, family, and extended connections. To get a better reach of your program, you can ask and encourage your network to share your post, and provide feedback about the reason why they chose to help your campaign. If you desire to connect with professionals in a specific industry, Linked-in provides the ability to syndicate and share your post with people from several related market segments. You can also promote your campaign through Twitter and Instagram, redirecting raving fans to your campaign page.

So what will donors get for their money? A donor should have the ability to choose perks in return for their donation, especially if the campaign is not solely philanthropic. “Perks” are the benefits that an individual can expect in return for the donation. The more creativeness and value you can squeeze into each perk package, the more you can request per perk level. By adding in a free copy of a book or promotional materials, you can provide additional added value for your donors. “Perks” are generally pre-orders for the specific market product you desire to launch. You can, however, provide add-ons for each level of donation.

Two methods you can employ for increasing how many people see your perks are:  1) holding a contest for most shares of your post with friends on social media, and 2) asking people that are not in a position to contribute to your campaign to help by spreading the message about your campaign story with people they feel would be interested in your project.

Having a few endorsements either by written or video testimonial will provide additional credibility to your offering. You can ask satisfied customers to give testimonials, or, if you know a celebrity, sports figure, or public figure, you can ask them to share a few words about your project, edifying the project and the product.

Lastly, you must monitor your results on a daily basis and make campaign adjustments accordingly. Having the ability to tweak your project’s campaign as you obtain feedback from donors will help you make changes to your campaign and provide updates that may increase traffic to your campaign’s page. Most crowdfunding campaigns can extend as long as 60 days, thus giving you time every few weeks to add to your campaign content and promote it online.

Samuel K. Burlum is an Investigative Reporter who authors articles related to economic development, innovation, green technology, business strategy, and public policy concerns. Samuel K. Burlum is also a career entrepreneur, who currently  lends his expertise as a Consultant firm to start-up companies, small businesses, and mid-size enterprises, providing advisement in several areas including strategic business planning, business development, supply chain management, and systems integration. He is also author of “The Race to Protect Our Most Important Natural Resource-Water,” and “Main Street Survival Guide for Small Businesses.”

Memory Care Units Focuses on Some of the Most Painful Concerns

Sam-Burlum-logo3 (2) ResizedWritten by, Samuel K. Burlum, Investigative Reporter and author, Published on 4/22/2018, www.SamBurlum.com Exclusive

Tags: Assisted Living, Baby Boomers, Golden Years, Health Care Facilities, Long Term Care, Quality of Life, Senior Health Care

Source: New facilities specializing in memory care are being designed to handle some of the most complicated mental health senior care concerns. These new designs focus their efforts on therapeutic modalities and facilities that aim at assisting senior residents cope with Alzheimer’s and dementia, loss of memory from an accident or injury, and other concerns that effect one’s mental well-being in their senior years.

Memory care facilities are assisted living facilities specially designed to care for individuals that have degrading mental awareness. Two of the most common memory loss diagnoses are Alzheimer’s and dementia. Alzheimer’s is a chronic disease where an individual’s mind will begin to lose short term memory of recent events, people’s names and dates. As the disease progresses, the individual will begin to have changes in behavior and mood, problems with language and disorientation, loss of motivation, and other slowing patterns.

In many cases, the individual is initially aware of their condition, and out of frustration, will slowly alienate family and care givers. Even care givers find it difficult to administer care to a person with Alzheimer’s, due to the continued behavioral changes and out lashes that the patient displays. Once Alzheimer’s is in its final phases, the body begins to shut down and fails to function as it should, leading to the individual passing. Care for an individual with Alzheimer’s takes a special provider that has plenty of patience as well as the ability to not be easily offended.

Senior elder persons with dementia suffer from and experience many of the same symptoms as folks with Alzheimer’s do. However, there are a few major differences between the two diseases. Dementia is considered a neurocognitive disorder that speeds up the aging process and affects the body more so than other mental disorders and illnesses. People with dementia are usually either chemically or physically restricted so they are not a danger to themselves or others around them. Human rights groups advocate that individuals with dementia should not be restrained, stating they need additional specialized care, including the use of alternative modalities and therapies, as well as individual in activities that are constructive, giving the person a sense of daily purpose.

Memory care services also provide on campus services in conjunction with rehabilitation centers for head injuries where blunt trauma has caused a person to lose their short-term memory.  This care focuses on helping the patient restore their short-term memory along with the individual’s physical health.

Memory care facilities offer around the clock supervised care. The floor plans of these facilities are designed to cater to someone with a memory care concern. They include easy to find central service areas such as a dining hall and activity centers. There are additional security measures at a memory care unit so patients cannot just wander off on their own outside the center’s grounds and limits the risk the patient may be to themselves or others. A memory care facility will usually have additional therapy rooms and places on campus designed to be therapeutic. They may even have a central court yard so residents can spend time outside without leaving the environment and security of the memory care unit.

Assisted living centers that include memory care are changing the model for senior health care in the industry. Memory care units that are added to either a traditional assisted living center or are integrated into the design of a new assisted living facility provide an advantage for senior health care facilities. These duel service centers help families with the continuity of care. If a loved one needs additional care services for memory care, the patient is transferred just down the hall or to a neighboring building. Knowing the same staff will be continuing to serve their loved one’s needs without having to move them to an entirely different facility provides tremendous reassurance during a vulnerable time. A family can count on maintaining the same relationship with the same senior health care provider; eliminating the doubt one would have about having to deal with a new staff or administrator.

Samuel K. Burlum is an investigative reporter who authors articles related to economic development, innovation, green technology, business strategy, and public policy concerns. Burlum is also a career entrepreneur who lends his expertise as a consultant to start-up companies, small businesses, and mid-size enterprises, providing advisement in several areas including strategic business planning, business development, supply chain management, and systems integration. He is also author of The Race to Protect Our Most Important Natural Resource-Water, Main Street Survival Guide for Small Businesses, and Life in the Green Lane-in Pursuit of the American Dream.

Services You Can Expect from a Quality Assisted Living Provider

Sam-Burlum-logo3 (2) ResizedWritten by, Samuel K. Burlum, Investigative Reporter and author, Published on 4/11/2018, www.SamBurlum.com Exclusive

Tags: Assisted Living, Health Care Facilities, Long Term Care, Nursing Homes, Quality of Life, Rehab, Rehabilitation, Senior Health Care

Source: Not all assisted living facilities are created equal; however, there are some basic services and expectations across the board that a new resident can expect from any assisted living campus. We look at these and the small differences that set some assisted living facilities apart from the rest.

An assisted living facility or residency is the ideal situation for an elderly individual in their golden years that has little or no family to rely upon for assistance with day to day chores or help in maintaining quality their life.  Oftentimes, these senior individuals find themselves unable to do all the same physical tasks they once could complete on their own. This change can prove quite challenging mentally, emotionally and physically. Assisted living campuses are designed to provide the senior resident with some assistance while allowing them to enjoy the freedom of life, such as making their own appointments, shopping, visiting family, and venturing outside the campus, just as they would if they remained in their own home.

There are some basic services an assisted living facility will offer. Unlike a nursing home, much of the residents from an assisted living center have a key element in maintaining their quality of life; mobility. Residents usually find themselves able to still be mobile on and off the campus, even if many no longer drive a car. Most assisted living facilities provide a bus/van service allowing the resident to schedule transportation needs, which is included as part of their monthly rent/lease agreement.

Assisted living services can include housekeeping and laundry services, as well as prepared meals, which are usually served in a group community dining area. This allows residents an opportunity to socialize and gather together. Apartments are self-contained and grocery services or other types of shopping and errands are also offered. Some services are personalized depending on the needs of the individual resident. The initial intake process will provide the opportunity to make that determination, as well as take into consideration when residents require medication administration and assistance. A nurse can be scheduled to help a resident with these needs. You will not find monitoring or medical equipment in this kind of situation, however, doctors and nurses are just a phone call away.

If a resident has limited mobility, a personal aide can be assigned to them. This aide would help the individual in getting dressed, bathing and escorting the resident to other parts of the campus for meals and activities, or to run light duty errands. This cost can be factored into the custom package for a resident that may be disabled or need just a little extra help.

Assisted living campuses will offer administration services to any individual with regards to exploring all options of benefits the senior may have coming to them and help the senior through whatever the process may be to obtain their benefits. Assisted living administrators cannot administer medicine or legal advice, however, they can redirect those concerns to local professionals in the community that are trained to better serve the senior elder person.

Assisted living facilities will have among other things; community and activity centers such as a gym, movie room, central gathering room, dining facilities, a chapel, a salon or barber shop, post office, small community library, and in some cases a store that carries basic needs for residents (grooming and toiletry items, select food items, some general household items, basic medical items, etc.).

Many assisted living facilities may resemble either a hotel or resort. Some are designed to look like a Main Street fully contained under a roof, or there are even senior housing campuses which have been converted into assisted living centers out of an old hospital or school. Some campuses look like any other block of community housing or apartments. New communities which are the first step to living in an assisted living campus begins with the move or sale of the former family home, where older parents become empty nesters. They often opt to move to an adult community, which requires for residents to be 55 and older, as well as have no children living in the home. These campuses may also have an assisted living facility on campus or nearby.

Samuel K. Burlum is an investigative reporter who authors articles related to economic development, innovation, green technology, business strategy, and public policy concerns. Burlum is also a career entrepreneur who lends his expertise as a consultant to start-up companies, small businesses, and mid-size enterprises, providing advisement in several areas including strategic business planning, business development, supply chain management, and systems integration. He is also author of The Race to Protect Our Most Important Natural Resource-Water, Main Street Survival Guide for Small Businesses, and Life in the Green Lane-in Pursuit of the American Dream.

8 Ways to Live Well into your Golden Years

Sam-Burlum-logo3 (2) ResizedWritten by, Samuel K. Burlum, Investigative Reporter, and author, Published on 3/28/2018, www.SamBurlum.com Exclusive

Tags: Assisted Living, Baby Boomers, Golden Years, Health Care Facilities, Long Term Care, Quality of Life, Senior Health Care

Source: Just because your body and mind are aging, does not mean you must give up on your quality of life. There are a few practices a senior individual can do to increase their life’s enjoyment so they may live well into their golden years.

Your golden years should be full of joy and excitement, reaping the benefits from all you have accomplished in life. Now it’s your turn to do some of the things on your list for you and your spouse but never had a chance to experience. You might have had a long career or profession, and now you’re retired. Years may have gone by raising a family, and now your children are grown, and raising their own children. Possibly, you may have served your local community either helping at church or a non-profit, or even served local government or on the emergency services squad. Life most certainly does not end there.

It’s time to go outside your zip code, apartment, or home. Travel and leisure are necessary to living well into your golden years. It allows you to maintain a community/worldly view, and with time on your side, you are not rushed to return to work or get the kids ready for school. Take a trip with your spouse or a group of friends, even if it is for the weekend to explore the local museum or a town or two away. You will be able to appreciate these things in a new unit of time. Travel also keeps the mind sharp; the process of planning trips and activities keeps the mind going.

Making new friends will be helpful to your golden years. As we age and our lives change, so do our interests. It is rare to see a group of seniors taking on adventurous activities such as those we might have chosen in one’s younger years. Having a group of friends that have faced a similar journey or will face a similar journey as you will provide a support group you can turn to when you need advice and encouragement.

Maintain your health and wellness. It is simpler said than done, but is a key ingredient to having a more enjoyable golden era. A balanced diet, walking or light exercise, or even your mental wellness, are all factors that can help your body stay mobile. Cultivating an active lifestyle is vital even when your body begins to age, or after an injury or illness.

Having a few hobbies will keep your mind and sense of purpose going. A person in their golden years may have many life lessons that can be put to work even if it is for self-enjoyment. Some seniors take up new hobbies where they can join classes on how to do something, like advanced cooking. Maybe crafts or gardening is your thing. Whatever the hobby is, it is important to be doing something other than being sedentary and watching television.

Some seniors choose to keep working. Having a job to go to serves several purposes, even if it is part time. A part time job can help a senior with some extra cash flow that may offset what they don’t receive from their senior benefits. It also gives a person a sense of purpose and keeps their mind active.

Write letters, poems, stories, and/or articles. It is an excellent way to journal your life’s experiences for others to enjoy, passing down your family history from one generation to another. Writing allows you to reflect on your life and life’s work, while handing along important life lessons that can help others either in business, raising a family, or something else. You can stay connected to family and friends through writing, as a duel reminder to reach out to each other.

Just as important as writing, reading is critical in keeping the mind functioning. Reading books, magazines, and or stories can help your mind stay cognitive and aware. Even if a person chooses just to read a few pages a day, keeping the use of your ability to communicate will be extended by reading and writing.

Some seniors choose to give back and volunteer. Maybe it is to lead a support group at church or to help welcome visiting families at the local hospital, or maybe you choose to read to children at the local library. If you are living in an assisted living facility, maybe you volunteer to help other residents with the organization of an activity. Volunteering your time and services is just another way to stay connected with the outside world and feel good that you are helping others; depositing into the help bank for when your time comes and you need a helping hand.

Samuel K. Burlum is an investigative reporter who authors articles related to economic development, innovation, green technology, business strategy, and public policy concerns. Burlum is also a career entrepreneur who lends his expertise as a consultant to start-up companies, small businesses, and mid-size enterprises, providing advisement in several areas including strategic business planning, business development, supply chain management, and systems integration. He is also author of The Race to Protect Our Most Important Natural Resource-Water, Main Street Survival Guide for Small Businesses, and Life in the Green Lane-in Pursuit of the American Dream.

The World’s Demand for Alternatives to Traditional Currency

Sam-Burlum-logo3 (2) Resized Written by, Samuel K. Burlum, Investigative Reporter and author, Published on 2/5/18, a SamBurlum.com Exclusive

Tags: Barter, Business, Community, Currency, Economy, Finance, Free Enterprise, Small Business

Source: With technology ten steps ahead of the market, even more options for paying bills have become readily available for both the consumer and for the merchant. We explore the many options payment options a business may choose to accept.

Two factors have changed the way we conduct commerce and financial transactions in the world over the past fifty years. The leading factor is the faith that people now have in traditional currency. Many countries, their money supply is based on one factor: faith; the belief that the value of the piece of paper or coin is a true representative of the value of good and/or services they wish to purchase.

Prior to what is known as “fiat currency,” money supply that is backed by no hard good, commodity, or tangible asset, that is widely accepted as a mark of trade, such as precious metals like gold or silver; Most countries would back their value of their currency on tradable commodities which had a real market value.  In recent years, crude oil and petro chemical fuels were used to support currency, while these same currencies were used as the preferred measuring stick against oil. Such is not the case anymore, now that even tying the US Dollar to fossil fuels has become volatile.

With such conditions changing, more individuals are sharing their concern, vocalizing how they have less faith in a piece of paper, which is backed by nothing.

Another trend that is leading people to explore other currency options is the development of technology. Today there are more options on how to make a financial transaction for a good or service. Beyond credit and debit cards, e-wallet and electronic paying systems such as Pay Pal, Apple Pay, and Android Pay. Crypto-currencies are also on the rise. Bitcoin and One Coin have become the top ranked electronic currencies, and merchants are racing get their business into the fold into accepting these new forms of payment.

However one form of a financial transaction that is as old as men and trade itself, is also still on the rise. Barter is growing at a faster pace due to advancements in technology, organizational set ups, wide spread networking, and oversight from two leading barter-industry trade organizations.

With the improvements into accountability and infrastructure, barter has never been so much easier. Traditionally one business or individual would trade services or products with another party that may too have a product or service to offer in the actual exchange. This limited barter, because if one party did not need the other party’s offering, then the exchange could not take place. Today the use of a credit system has widened up the scope in the barter arena. Barter exchanges have made it easier to use barter for many business to business purchases.

Exchanges such as Badger Barter, located in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, Badger Barter offers a barter exchange that includes well over 600 business; range from auto repair to graphic design; from legal counsel and services to website creation. These types of exchanges have evolved over time to include many member benefits in which traditional barter did not offer.

As a small business, you should be exploring all payment options, in addition to traditional payments of debit, credit, cash, and check. Barter is a viable way to conduct business to business transactions and opens the door for new business relations to develop within barter exchange networks. Some retailers are now accepting Apple Pay, Android Pay, Pay Pal, Bitcoin, and Onecoin. However barter is considered one of the best options since most barter exchanges offer a credit system, allowing you to use the barter on a wider selection of products and/or services.

Barter is not only a form of payment; it is also a marketing tool. There are businesses that seek out other businesses that offer Barter payment options. You should notify your clients about all of the payment options you offer in multiple touch points. Including but not limited to a placard at the cash register/counter; logo of the barter exchange on your website, social media, and e-mail newsletters; logo on store front window, print advertising, business cards, invoices, and other forms signage a client may see at your establishment.

Bloomberg Business had researched and found that over $12 billion dollars in goods and services were traded without any currency changing hands in 2012. Research showed that not every transaction conducted was on business essentials however the barter was still utilized. Even when the most obscure product or service was offered, the bartered item eventually would find a relative home. Another part of the study revealed that Small Businesses mainly spent their barter in exchange for: marketing and advertising; legal and professional services; facilities maintenance; office supplies; and construction/renovation services; which are many of the same expenditures a small business might use proceeds from a working capital loan for.

Samuel K. Burlum is an investigative reporter who authors articles related to economic development, innovation, green technology, business strategy, and public policy concerns. Burlum is also a career entrepreneur who lends his expertise as a consultant to start-up companies, small businesses, and mid-size enterprises, providing advisement in several areas including strategic business planning, business development, supply chain management, and systems integration. He is also author of The Race to Protect Our Most Important Natural Resource-Water, Main Street Survival Guide for Small Businesses, and Life in the Green Lane-in Pursuit of the American Dream.

How to prepare a loved one for Residence in an Assisted Living Facility

Sam-Burlum-logo3 (2) ResizedWritten by, Samuel K. Burlum, Investigative Reporter and author, Published on 3/8/2018 by www.SamBurlum.com

Tags: Assisted Living, Baby Boomers, Golden Years, Health Care Facilities, Long Term Care, Quality of Life, Senior Health Care

Source: Getting an elder loved one prepared for the transfer of residency from their current home into an assisted living facility can come with its challenges; including debate from the very family member you are trying to help. Here are a few practices to consider in helping a senior individual transition into their new assisted living situation.

Transitioning to an assisted living facility can be challenging for both the senior who is transitioning from their current home to a new environment and for the family member or friend that is helping their loved one. There are a few things to consider during the transition and move in process that will help reduce part of the stress of this life event.

Having a positive attitude about the lifestyle change is the first place to start in preparing for the move. You and your loved one should take some time out to review all the positive benefits available when moving into an assisted living facility. A clear understanding of what the available services and amenities are should be made known in the beginning to dispel any stereotypical views one may have about assisted living facilities for seniors.

A strong support structure of family and friends in place when transitioning a senior loved one into an assisted living center, is highly recommended. Families need to continue scheduling regular visits with their elder family member or friend now living at an assisted living facility. Many seniors feel abandoned in their new setting, as if the family “dumped” them at the facility. They can be unable to understand the benefits of the change, where there is to be an increase in the quality of life for the aging family member. Visitation will help the senior individual feel more at home and comfortable with their new surroundings. Many assisted living facilities now are designed with family rooms and visitation areas that are semi-private; allowing for family to gather and visit, even hosting birthday celebrations and gatherings.

The senior family member should be reminded about the importance of privacy. During the day, the new resident will at times dine and join in activities with other residents, yet the senior should be made aware that their apartment is their own privacy space and they retain full control of who enters. Just like living at a resort or apartment building, a resident reserves all their privacy rights. Shared community spaces are just that; however, separate areas are designed to provide private rooms and spaces that a resident can enjoy with family outside the common jointly used areas of other residents.

When moving physical things into the assisted living space keep in mind the facility will usually provide furniture, including bed, chairs, lamps, and other fixtures. If items are brought from home to help make their stay more comfortable, residents are advised to inform administrators ahead of time.  A new resident is encouraged to bring their personal effects, pictures, clothing, etc., however, it is best to be selective of items they may use on a less frequent basis because storage is limited, and assisted living facilities and living quarters are designed to limit clutter.

Moving day helpers are important to the actual transition. A host of family and friends are encouraged to sign up for moving day, so this relieves the stress of the loved one having to handle heavy items on their own. The quicker the assisted living space is set up for the new resident, the better, so it can begin to give the sense of feeling at home. A slow move in or a move where a resident feels they do not have everything they need to call their new space home, will create feelings of alienation for the new resident.

The emotional stress that occurs during the move into an assisted living facility can come from the emotions a senior feels when leaving behind their former possessions or home. It is wise not to discuss the sale of the loved one’s home upon the arrival of the move in date to the assisted living facility. Be mindful that this life changing event is about them and their health and well-being. Encourage your loved one that even though their address has changed, their family has not. Help refocus the attention from the stress to getting involved in activities and making new friends at the facility. Send post cards and letters to your loved one at their new address so they can feel the placement is a healthy transition.

Samuel K. Burlum is an investigative reporter who authors articles related to economic development, innovation, green technology, business strategy, and public policy concerns. Burlum is also a career entrepreneur who lends his expertise as a consultant to start-up companies, small businesses, and mid-size enterprises, providing advisement in several areas including strategic business planning, business development, supply chain management, and systems integration. He is also author of The Race to Protect Our Most Important Natural Resource-Water, Main Street Survival Guide for Small Businesses, and Life in the Green Lane-in Pursuit of the American Dream.

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