Ideas for elderly activities – Arts & Crafts July 10, 2015

Elderly activities are the activities that involve fun and learning for the elderly people. There are various types of activities to keep these people engaged these include dementia activities, exercise activities, gardening activities, indoor and outdoor games, various types of entertainment and parties, eating and drinking activities, musical activities and reading and writing activities. Following are some of the very effective arts and crafts activities for elder people;

1.    The Eggshell Mosaic
The material required for this activity includes egg shells, card, pencil, glue, beakers of water, paint brush and colored food dye. Take some beaker of water and add the food dye in each of them. Now take the eggshells, clean them and break them into small pieces. Add these shells to the colored water and let them soak in the food dye. After a while take them out and let them dry, they will look like small pieces of tiles. Now make a drawing on the card and stick the eggshell pieces by staying on the outlines of the drawing. This should be done in portions and will create a beautiful mosaic picture in the end.

2.    The Big Knit
This activity is a part of a charity event in Northern Ireland which involves knitting small hats for smoothies. In that charity event they also pay to the participants for each hat knitted. The material required is wool, knitting needles of size 4, scissors and wool needles. The participants are directed to cast on 28 stitches and do 2 rows of plain knit. Then in 12 rows (knit one row and pearl one row) cast every second stitch and sew it all up.

3.    Greeting Cards Making
This is probably the simplest and the most common arts and crafts activity. The items required for this activity involve envelopes and cards, scissors, glue, sponge, ribbon and other crafting material and tools as per requirement. There is no procedure to follow here, each participant is provided with all the equipment and let them play with their imaginations. However, you can provide them with a theme such as a birthday or a wedding theme etc.

4.    Flower arranging
This activity can really make the participant very happy. They can create floral arrangement for dining tables, entrances, party arrangements and decorations etc. The use of tiny bulbs can also be done. The materials required for this activity are flowers, vase, tape, wires or other flower arrangement tools etc. In the beginning leaves are used to create some design or structure and then start with the larger flowers and don’t use even numbers of flowers as this might become difficult for arrangement then add some grass for finishing.

5.    Drawing Games
The simplest and most common drawing game is to write down different words on small pieces of paper and then a participant picks out one piece and has to draw a picture resembling the word. The other participants have to guess the word from the drawn picture.  This activity can be varied into some other drawing game activities as well.

Home Health Care company, Comfort Keepers, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, uses some of these techniques with their patients to help stimulate brain activity.

Roofing Companies – Measuring the progress with help of workflows July 10, 2015

Workflows are like the process flow diagrams that give a chart of all the steps that are included in a process and a checklist that gives information about whether each particular step is completed or not. The ordered steps and the related checklist indicate the progress of a job and what portion of it is completed. A few benefits of using these workflows include;
1.    A consistent step-by-step process on a chart that gives everyone a plan to follow.
2.    Simultaneous jobs can be tracked in a very effective manner as it indicates the progress of our company in each of the current projects.
3.    Tracking individual progress in accordance with the timeline in a clearer manner showing what is completed and what is left to be done.
For a roofing company the projects are categorized in three main heads; residential projects, insurance projects and commercial projects. The workflows for each of these projects are as follows;

I – Residential Projects
The residential projects workflow include following processes;
a.    New client lead
b.    Arrange a meeting with the lead
c.    Conduct inspection of the roof
d.    Make and estimation and quote the expense to the lead
e.    The contract is signed by the lead (now client)
f.    Order the required materials
g.    Schedule the jobs and meet the deadline for each job
h.    Bill the client
i.    Collect payment

II – Insurance Projects
Here the involvement of the insurance company alters the workflows in comparison with the residential projects. Insurance project workflows are tabulated as follows;
a.    New client lead found through call in
b.    Schedule meeting
c.    Get the letter of intention signed from the lead
d.    Arrange meeting with the person who adjusts insurance
e.    Conduct and inspection of the roof
f.    Make and estimation and quote the insurance adjuster
g.    Negotiate with the adjuster on supplemental estimate
h.    Collect the 1st cheque form the client (after they receive the insurance)
i.    Order the required materials
j.    Schedule the jobs and meet the deadline for each job
k.    Bill the client for the 2nd  and final payment
l.    Collect payment

III – Commercial Projects
The commercial projects are bigger as compared to the residential or insurance projects. Therefore, there may be more reporting steps involved in the workflows of these projects. However, the most common steps involved in a commercial project workflow are as follows;
a.    New customer lead, usually from some real estate business partner
b.    Conduct the inspection of the roof
c.    Make an estimation and quote the lead
d.    Lead signs the contract (now client)
e.    Develop a flowchart of the jobs highlighting the important milestones
f.    Ask for various permits relating to the jobs
g.    Order the required materials
h.    Schedule the jobs as per the permits received
i.    Bill the client
j.    Collect payment
Workflows allow a smooth running of all the operations involved in the business. On the external level these workflows allow developing goodwill for your business as well as the profits in the long run and on the internal level structuring workflows allows you to guide your employees in a better manner.

Roof Top Services of Central Florida, Inc. recently implemented this type of technique in within their business and are showing major improvements.

New product package development and research July 10, 2015

It goes without saying that strong and effective product packaging has to be an integral part of the marketing mix. A strong package is equity. A strong package sells a product and a strong package justifies premium pricing.
But, who defines a strong package? The shopper, because the shopper is the individual who ultimately picks up and buys the product or quickly bypasses or totally ignores it. From both the shoppers’ and the marketers’ point of view, the shopping experience is a battle. The shopper has to battle through competing items, through heavy shopper traffic and through the check-out lines. The marketer, on the other hand, has to break through the clutter to get a few precious seconds of consideration.
• A Focus Group can help a company decide on the best packaging to send to a product packaging company. Testing the packaging on a focus group can cut out some of the guess work. The average supermarket contains over 17,000 items, with 2,300 new products being introduced each year.
• The average shopper is spending approximately 30 minutes in his/her normal shopping trip. This translates to 1,800 seconds to consider 17,000 items. Needless to say, many of these items are being ignored. In one of our eye tracking studies, we recorded how shoppers zero in on different product categories. Not surprisingly, approximately one-third of the packages on the shelf were being completely ignored. Even with more than 5,600 products bypassed, the U. S. supermarket shopper is still faced with 11,000 items being considered in 1,800 seconds; not much time for a marketer to sell his/her product.

A few other things to keep in mind when developing new packaging for your product:
• Is simple
• Quickly communicates what the product is
• Makes use of focal points
• Stands out from the competition
• Makes selection within a product line easy
• Has the right quality impression
• Reflects the image of the product
• Retains a visual connection with the past when redesigned.

Packaging research must address each of these criteria. Effective packaging research must also be conducted with the appropriate target audience; the same target audience that is used when developing marketing strategy, when planning TV commercials and when producing print ads.
Make sure to also keep the competition in mind when developing your packaging and labeling. Think about what your product is likely to be on the shelf next to. The “follow the leader” mentality doesn’t work when your product is going to be on the shelf with a bunch of similar products. You want to stand out.