How Medical Billing Services Help Save Time For Medical Practices

By Peter Geisheker

In the healthcare industry, physicians are responsible for more than just their patients. They have to maintain their office, pay their bills, meet payroll, deadlines and many other responsibilities. It can be mind-boggling when you think of all the responsibilities of a physician today.

One of the biggest tasks that anyone in the medical field must undertake is medical billing. This is one of the biggest headaches that they have to deal with.

Filling out paperwork for each patient that they see every day and submitting to the insurance company for billing can extend the day of a physician considerably. It is a very time consuming task and if there is a mistake on the forms, the insurance company will reject it and the physician has to start all over again. It can be very frustrating especially when insurance companies take up to three months or longer to send their payment. For small practices, it can make it difficult to meet financial obligations. They need assistance, however many physicians don’t know where to turn for help.

That is where a medical billing company can be of assistance. A medical billing company is a company of trained professionals who have the experience in medical billing and dealing with insurance companies. Medical billing companies can speed up the billing cycle by filing all of your claims electronically, eliminating the process of entering the information manually. What this means is that each refund is processed immediately, and the refund is received within days instead of weeks or months.


Medical billing is available to everyone in the medical industry, from a Dermatologist to a Brain Surgeon. Whether you have a big practice or small, using a medical billing company will allow any physician more time to spend with patients and less time filling out paperwork. With a medical billing company, there are fewer mistakes, thereby fewer rejections. Using a medical billing company will also allow physicians to establish new patients for their practice.

Medical billing company personnel know the latest laws, rules and regulations in medical billing and because of the nature of their business, most likely have special relationships with insurance carriers and that can speed up the process.

Medical billing companies can be found everywhere. It is a rapidly growing industry. However, it is a good idea to research each company that you are interest in. It is critical that you ask certain questions in the interview process to insure that you will be choosing the right medical billing company for your practice.

How fast are claims expedited?

What type of software is used?

Do they offer follow up to unpaid bills?

Do they stay current with all of the new regulation?

Is all information confidential and secure?

These questions require answers, and if you are not satisfied with them, move on to the next company on your list.

It is important to find a medical billing company that can handle your business needs. It is equally important that they offer a revenue return policy and that is has a high success rate.

About the Author: Peter Geisheker is CEO of The Geisheker Group

marketing firm

. One of the types of clients that Peter helps are

medical billing companies


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The Optimal Exit Strategy Business Transition/Exit Planning For Private Business Owners

The Challenge

This past year has been a difficult one for business owners seeking an exit. Is this the recession, or a reflection of a longer term reality? The answer, it seems, is that exiting business owners will need to engage a new reality for the foreseeable future. According to an article published by Robert Avery of Cornell University in February 2006, “the majority of boomer wealth is held in 12 million privately owned businesses, of which more than 70% are expected to change hands in the next 10 to 15 years.” Only a portion of these businesses will successfully cash out, because of a fundamental oversupply of sellers.

Key Mistakes Sellers Make

Business owners make a mistake when they allow too little time to complete a properly executed business exit strategy. Another mistake owners make is focusing on the price while disregarding the terms and structure of an exit transaction. Other key mistakes business owners make in exiting their companies are:

  • selling to the (only) competitor who approaches them
  • not using experienced advisors (hoping to save transaction costs)
  • setting expectations based on personal needs and without reference to the market
  • failing to explore legitimate positioning strategies

Buyers of middle market companies don’t buy jobs for themselves in the way that small business buyers do, they “invest” with the expectation of a return commensurate with the risk. Nothing enhances a buyer’s perception of value more than:

  • evidence of sustainable growth
  • a capable management team as the key to managing the risk

The Business owner who engages professional advisors, plans thoroughly, and negotiates to ensure that the wealth transfer mechanism chosen most closely delivers on his goals is the business owner who will have executed the optimal exit strategy.

Characteristics which Appeal to Buyers

If the fundamental laws of risk and reward prevail, only the least risky and most profitable businesses will change hands successfully. With buyers focusing on businesses which represent good investments capable of operating with little or no dependence on their owners, the following characteristics will be seen as desirable:

  • Businesses which have scaled beyond a total dependence on the owner
  • proprietary products, services or processes
  • strong, remaining management
  • defensible, differentiated market position
  • stable, diverse customer base
  • recurring revenue business model
  • business growth (opportunities)
  • strong operating margins
  • manageable business risk
  • quality business and accounting systems
  • audited annual and timely internal monthly financial statements

Defining the Exit

Exiting is more than Selling


Exit Planning is a process involving the development and execution of a series of systematic steps taken to allow both the owner and the “accumulated wealth” to be extracted from the business, via one or more of the numerous available strategies, including:

  • Selling the business to partners, strategic buyers, investors, competitors, international buyers, or the public
  • Recapitalizing the business for partial liquidity
  • Merging the business to achieve enhance valuation and/or marketability
  • Transferring the business to family, management or employees
  • Gifting the business to meet personal and/or tax planning goals
  • Liquidating or partially liquidating the business

Exiting is a process, not an event.

The Optimal Exit will be achieved through the implementation of a managed process which includes:

  • Establishing a business valuation reference point
  • Clarifying “Life-after-Business” goals
  • Working with a team of specialist advisors
  • Preparing a written plan ? Identifying and evaluating the applicable alternative strategies (options)
  • Executing any necessary positioning or preliminary strategies
  • Executing the selected exit strategy

Exiting is a complex subject with many moving parts. No single advisor is an expert in all aspects, so the process should involve inputs from a team of experienced advisors, and should address the possible need to re-position the business before going to market.

Setting Goals

Clarifying the Endgame

The Exit Strategy begins with the M&A Advisor providing a likely range of the pricing, terms and structure expected from a sale in the current market. The Financial Planner or Wealth Manager then develops a plan to invest the after-tax wealth extracted from the business to meet lifestyle and life-after-business goals. For the majority of business owners, this newly liquidated business wealth will constitute a meaningful portion of the total wealth driving the financial, tax and estate plans. The key, then, to beginning the exit planning process, is to clarify the endgame, taking into account the likely value of extracted business wealth.

  • Legacy Goals – what will have been your contribution?
  • Lifestyle and Life-after-Business Goals – what do you want from the next phase of your life?
  • Estate Planning Goals – how will you ensure that your estate passes to your heirs in the most tax efficient way?
  • Exit Strategy Goals – based on all of the above, what are the priorities to be met by your selected exit strategy as to risk, time, wealth and income?

Selecting a Team

Play the “A” Team

The M&A Advisor should assemble and coordinate a team, including existing advisors where applicable, that will ensure:

  • access to all appropriate options and opportunities
  • being fully informed as to the merits and demerits of proposed strategies
  • having expert counsel and representation

The team must include the necessary knowledge, skills and experience in Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate Law, Taxation and Financial Planning/Wealth Management. It may also include specialists in ESOPs, insurance, personnel and business consulting disciplines.

Writing a Plan

Planning Precedes Execution

Business owners should not expect to exit successfully in the next 10 years without figuring out how best to exit and what preparatory steps should be taken.and should not assume they can wait until they are “ready”. While the critical execution phase will not be a problem for most take-charge entrepreneur business owners, the planning for an exit will be foreign to them as exiting has never been their purpose. Their purpose has been to create and build, and to consider the exit (if at all) a retreat. The M&A Advisor should coordinate a collaborative team effort to prepare a written Exit Plan incorporating a valuation of the business, a statement of goals and objectives, a review of alternative strategies (options), an analysis of the gap between the goals and the options, and strategies for closing the gap.

Reconciling Goals and Options

Once one has established an indication of the Expected Wealth Transfer (the after-tax proceeds from the business exit) on the one hand, and an estimate of the Targeted Wealth Transfer (the wealth transfer required to provide the personal life-after-business goals) on the other, the business owner and the exit team must now reconcile the two before selecting and implementing an exit strategy. Whether or not the expected and targeted wealth transfer values are the same, the owner should review all exit options, and should also evaluate a number of Positioning Strategies for execution prior to implementing an Exit Strategy. Reconciliation or Closing the Gap is an iterative process of evaluating combinations of positioning and business exit strategies that will yield a release of wealth (the Expected Wealth Transfer) compatible, as to quality, time, value and certainty, with achieving the specified goals and the associated Targeted Wealth Transfer. Closing the gap may also involve modification of the Targeted Wealth Transfer. Again, notice that there are two key points of inflection for matching the exit with the personal goals:

  1. The ability to vary the value, timing and certainty associated with extracting the business wealth
  2. The ability to vary the timing, risk tolerance, estate wealth, living standards and other variables inherent in the personal goals

A key issue business owners face in considering Positioning Strategies is the very central question of the risk – reward paradigm. Positioning strategies cannot be executed entirely without risk, but manageable risk strategies may deserve consideration if they serve to better ensure that the business wealth will be delivered in the context, amount, time and certainty needed to meet the identified personal goals.

Positioning Strategies

Corporate Value Enhancement

The team should look at the corporate structure and governance mechanisms to consider whether the business is optimally positioned for the intended business exit. For instance, an asset sale from a C Corp could result in tax obligations at both the corporate and the individual levels. Conversion to an S Corp may be advantageous, but the tax benefits vest over an extended period of time. The make-up of the Board and any Advisory Board may also have an impact on the value perceived by a buyer. Management strength is considered below. From the standpoints of scale, product or market diversity, management strength or any number of others, the business may benefit from a combination with or consolidation into another business prior to its sale. Alternatively, it may be desirable to spin-off one or more non-synergistic or non-performing divisions to increase profitability or allow greater management focus.

Business Value Enhancement

Business value enhancement strategies generally influence valuation because of their perceived impact on risk, growth or profit margins. At the top of many buyers’ lists is the need to see a strong, experienced and motivated management in place. For financial buyers, this often includes the need to be assured that management has skin in the game, typically an equity interest. Improvements in profit margins are strongest when they are reflected in trailing (historical) earnings. More recently effected changes, or even planned changes, can also influence valuation, however, if the benefit of the changes can be quantified and demonstrated. Because of the multiplier effect built into earnings-based valuations, a $1mm earnings improvement may increase the valuation by, say, $5mm. It doesn’t seem entirely logical that an exiting business owner would have unexplored opportunities available for making improvements to the business. It’s a little like living with an outdated kitchen and upgrading just before selling the house. As in the real estate analogy, the stakes are higher at the time of exit, and the focus on marketability and valuation greater, so these opportunities often do exist. Other business value enhancement strategies include:

  • Reviewing and revising the revenue and/or business models
  • Implementing product / market enhancement plans
  • Expanding and diversifying the customer base
  • Securing title to patents and intellectual property
  • Commissioning of financial and operational audits
  • Strengthening or upgrading of systems and procedures
  • Documenting or codifying contractual relationships (employees, vendors, customers, debt)

Business Marketability Enhancement

If growth opportunity, managed risk and strong margins are the foundation for building value enhancement strategies, then clarity, transparency and certainty are the engines which drive marketability. Business performance is clearly reported and accounted for, activities and status are transparent to the buyer, and all information portrays a level of certainty about the future. Experienced buyers know that completing acquisitions is a time-consuming and expensive exercise. Buyers will perceive greater clarity, transparency and certainty, and therefore be more motivated to engage, when the seller has:

  • Audited financial statements
  • A business plan with a clearly defined growth path
  • An in-place sector-experienced management
  • Current market metrics and analysis

Multi-Step Liquidation Strategies

Reference is made above to the risk-reward paradigm. This fundamental reality plays out in ways too numerous to mention, including strategies elected by business owners to both take cash off the table to reduce risk/exposure as in a re-cap, and assume reasonable risks for an enhanced valuation as in an earn-out structure. Consider:

  • The lowest price is an all cash price (not often available in today’s market)
  • Waiting before selling is risky
  • Participating in an industry consolidation or roll-up increases the risks and uncertainty of an exit, but potentially enhances marketability and yields a greater valuation

A classic two-stage exit is accomplished by means of a re-capitalization in which an investor / partner / buyer acquires part of the business with an expectation to either buy the rest of the business or to market the business in cooperation with the remaining owner at a later time and at a greater valuation. The owner takes some chips off the table, but retains a stake, and usually continues to participate in management. Merging the business into one or more other businesses before exiting can lead to increased marketability and even an improved valuation sometimes referred to as multiple bump. Consider a $20mm revenue business with earnings of $3mm which commands a valuation of $15mm (or a 5 multiple). Combining that business into a $100mm business with earnings of $15mm and which commands a valuation of $90mm (a multiple of 6), now values the original company’s participation at $18mm, and the consolidation strategy has yielded a $3mm valuation gain.

Transaction Structuring Strategies

Every step along the complex path of executing an exit strategy demands access to advice from professionals who have been there and who know the opportunities and the pitfalls. Even though the structuring of the exit transaction comes toward the end of the process, structuring is included here as a positioning strategy because it impacts the value of the Expected Wealth Transfer. Key structuring considerations include:

  • Considerations of risk and reward
  • Tax considerations
  • What incomes and expenses are included (i.e. belong to the transacted business)?
  • What assets and liabilities are ex/included
  • What pre-transaction liquidation, settlement/exclusion opportunities exist?
  • What relationships between buyer and seller arise? (employment, advisory, landlord, supplier, partners, etc.)
  • Documenting or codifying contractual relationships (employees, vendors, customers, debt)

The majority of middle-market businesses bought and sold derive their valuation, at least in part, from cash flow or earnings. The very key question then arises: “What assets and liabilities are essential to and an integral part of the ongoing enterprise, thereby supporting the established earnings flow?”

Exit Strategies

The business owner should have his M&A Advisor prepare an analysis of the fit and applicability of each of the exit strategy options to the stated goal and objectives. Not all options will fit every business or every set of goals. Individual strategies might include:

  • Sale to Partner, Competitor, Strategic Buyer, Financial Buyer, International Buyer, the Public
  • Re-Cap
  • Merge
  • Transfer to Family, Management, Employees
  • Gift
  • Liquidate

Benefits of a Planned Exit

The primary purpose of approaching a business exit in a systematic, goal-focused and planned way is to dramatically increase the likelihood that the outcome will be optimal to the stated goals. The employment of a team of professional and experienced advisors will add a cost of, say, 3% – 6% of the wealth transferred, but will potentially add considerably more value by:

  • mitigating against a failure of the mission
  • dramatically expediting the mission
  • intermediating the process to eliminate the risks associated with direct negotiations between principals
  • increasing the negotiated value of the mission
  • reducing the income tax burden
  • helping to reconcile the Expected Wealth Transfer to the Targeted

Wealth Transfer

…not to mention providing the knowledge and human resources to navigate a complex and time-consuming labyrinth of decision making and task execution.

Article Source:

About Author:

Peter Heydenrych’s entrepreneurial experience, as the owner of service/manufacturing companies, provides perspective and ability to plan and execute successful business exit strategies, based on a thorough understanding of M&A transactions.Author: Peter Heydenrych

Security Cameras Give Owners The Feeling Of Safety And Comfort

By Ralph Winn

Because of the ever increasing rates of home burglaries in the United States, more people are realizing that their homes are not the safe sanctuary that they once used to be. As security cameras become more affordable, they are becoming more popular with people seeking to add more security to their homes and businesses.

Developed to keep an eye on anything within its vision, security cameras give owners the feeling of safety and comfort when they are at home or away. Because of the wide variety of choices, consumers now have an assortment to pick from when selecting the right security camera system to meet their needs.

Installation Location

Choosing the appropriate location to install a security camera is vital to successfully deter intruders. The homeowner needs to assess the property to determine what type of camera is required. Standard concerns include: entrances, exits, people who regularly visit, and the time of day and night visitors and family members come to the home. A homeowner also needs to decide if they want the camera hidden or on display to discourage an entry attempt.

Types of Security Cameras


It is important to consider what security camera fits your needs. Consumers now have a broad number of choices. The following highlights various popular security cameras:

Wired surveillance cameras – These cameras are appropriate for a long-term setup. If you have one location that you would like to constantly monitor and will not need it to be changed, a wired camera is a good choice. Some wired cameras may have to be professionally installed.

Wireless Security Cameras – Wireless cameras are increasingly becoming one of the more popular choices among consumers. These offer more flexibility in set up. They are easy to install, can be moved easily, are often small, have no tell-tale wires, and are very discreet. There are also night vision security cameras, such as the Low-Light Wireless that captures only black and white images. It is a good choice for dark locations

Home Surveillance Camera Packages – When purchasing a setup package for inside your home, you will often be provided with timers for your lamps and motion sensors to go with the wireless camera. From there, the images can then be viewed on a TV, cell phone, PDA, laptop, or desktop computer.

Concealed surveillance cameras – These cameras look like regular items. A clock in a living room, a doll in a child’s room, or a potted plant by the door, could all easily be used to hide a surveillance camera. You can record without anyone knowing. These surveillance cameras are often purchased to watch nannies or home workers inside the home.

Webcam surveillance systems with motion sensors – This webcam surveillance system with software detects activity so that recording only occurs when something is moving in front of the motion sensors. The webcam does this by capturing two images, and then comparing them for irregularities. This set-up saves hard drive memory space and time because the captured images can be immediately e-mailed to the user. These software applications also allow the user to host the images through the built-in web server so that the user can access them by way of an IP address.

Wireless Sensors with Cameras – These cameras often comes motion and sound-detecting cameras, along with sensors that alert the homeowner if a door is open, if there’s a leak, if there are temperature fluctuations, or if someone is approaching the front door. Once the images are captured, they are sent via a broadband connection to a computer, PDA or cell phone. Homeowners can also purchase motion sensors without cameras that alert the homeowner to intruders with high frequency radio wave signals. In other sensor systems, infrared light is applied to perceive heat changes.

Infrared Cameras – An infrared camera is able to see in the dark by providing its own light source. Light emitting diodes (LEDs) surround the camera lens and automatically turn on when it gets dark. Infrared cameras will provide a color picture during the daytime or when the area is well lit. When the built-in sensor detects darkness, it will turn on the LEDs and provide infrared lighting. You will then see in black and white. Clearness and distance will be determined by lens size, and quality and number of infrared LEDs.

Home Surveillance for Added Comfort

Today, homeowners can choose from a variety of home surveillance options that give a feeling of security when they are away from home. If there’s trouble, they know they will be quickly alerted. Home surveillance technology will only get smaller and more reliable as technology improves, especially as computers and cameras work together to monitor security with a touch of a button. Because of the increased risk to our homes, it is important to safely secure your home and loved ones.

About the Author: Ralph Winn. 35 years in the Security Camera industry. Home Security and Alarm Monitoring tips.


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American Morality A Glimmer Of Hope On The Horizon

By Thomas Sullivan

Has the United States lost it’s basic principle of morality? Has the United States moved away from the guiding principles that this country was founded on? A single line from the Declaration of Independence describes these basic principles, and it is the meaning of these words which provided the foundation for the formation of the United States:

“We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” – Thomas Jefferson

All Americans are created equal and life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is a right granted to every citizen of the United States. Our founding fathers acquired these principles from their religious beliefs, and regardless of what people may think, the United States was founded on Biblical principles. Our founding fathers did not use certain aspects of the Bible just to satisfy what they wanted in a country. They used the Bible as a whole in order to create an understanding of what the basic rights are for an individual. They concluded that these rights are from God and are given to all individuals.

One of the unalienable rights given by our creator is the right to live our lives. Our creator placed each individual on this earth for a reason. Is it not true that other people in the world have that same unalienable right to live and fulfill God’s purpose? So, if this is a founding principle for our country, does it not follow that we as a country should help others less fortunate then us? Should not others, who were born in underdeveloped countries, have the same right to life? In this article, I will address some of these questions, with the hope that by examining these issues, we can as a society, move in a direction our founding fathers had envisioned. Americans have lost site of the fact that excess without giving is not really what our founding fathers had in mind. Lets examine some examples which are symbolic of this immorality that currently exists within the American society.

Before presenting this first example, we need to have a clear definition of what morality is. From WordNet, a lexical database for the English language, developed at the Cognitive Science Library at Princeton University, morality is concern with the distinction between good and evil or right and wrong. This first example of immorality may be considered by many as one that does not have anything to do with morality, but if you give it more then cursory thought, you would most likely consider it a morality issue.


This first example has to do with Americans and their relationship with their automobiles. Yes, immorality can be seen at such a insignificant level. More importantly, this example shows the pervasiveness of immorality within the American society. Most Americans, if typical, need an automobile for basic functioning within most areas of the United States. The automobile has become a perfunctory status symbol. Many people within the United States can barely pay their rent or mortgage, but they will shovel out money per month on an automobile they really can not afford. They spend money per month in the form of a car payment or lease, just to have a ‘nice’ car.

The American obsession with the sport utility vehicle is one I still do not understand. One basic argument of the SUV owner is that by driving a SUV, they feel safer. If your driving skill is so poor that you can not avoid poor drivers, try working on your driving skill. This to me makes more sense then driving a tank (SUV) which consumes large quantities of fuel and concomitantly contributes to an increase in fuel demand. This increase in fuel demand drives fuel prices upward. With Americans so reliant upon their automobiles, higher fuel prices mean less extra money in their pocket. Money that could be used to help feed those dying from starvation throughout the world.

The American car companies for many years pushed the SUV on the American public, and now these car companies are suffering the consequences. The thinking as to why these companies offered these vehicles to the American public was that they thought Americans would continue in their mind set that excess is better. The American car companies today are doing poorly as a business. They have continually laid off workers in order to maintain a level of viability. They have been very slow to innovate and the federal government has had to mandate fuel efficiency. Because of their sluggish response to the need for fuel efficient vehicles, American car companies are now suffering the consequences.

On the other hand, Toyota and Honda, companies which have put fuel efficient hybrids out into the market place, are now doing very well. Toyota is now the number one car seller in the world. Toyota and Honda have always placed fuel efficiency as a higher priority. A glimmer of hope lies in the fact that Americans are starting to create the mind set that excess is not good, and frugality is the way of the future. Simply put, driving SUVs is not intelligent.

Driving an SUV when it really is not necessary is an example of overindulgence in the United States. Granted, there are situations where an individual needs a SUV such as Alaska or any area of the country where road conditions are poor or winters are severe. Or, there are occasions where material needs to be transported in a SUV because of it’s increase carrying capacity. In these cases, there is a legitimate reason to own a SUV because of it’s utilitarian value. But the majority of SUV owners are not in these situations or extreme conditions frequently enough to warrant owning such a fuel wasting vehicle. Driving a hybrid is an example of intelligent frugality. In order to buy a Toyota or Honda hybrid, you will have to be put on a long waiting list. This is a good sign that Americans are starting to develop the mind set that having less is better and frugality is the way of the future.

Our society has been through a period of excess and overindulgence but changes, hopefully, are on the horizon. Morality in the form of giving needs to be reincorporated back into our society. It makes more sense to drive a more fuel efficient vehicle, and use some of the saved money to contribute to the world hunger problem. For most morally conscious individuals, this type of sustained and continual activity leads to greater long term happiness.

Giving does not have to be monetary, it can be in other forms, such as giving time or knowledge. This brings us to our next example of morality reduction that has been in existence in the United States. Many parents today are not giving enough time to their children. Children need to be nurtured. A parents wisdom, gained through a life time of experiences, needs to be imparted to their children. Parents need to impart to their children the value of giving and a feeling of concern for others . When I was a child growing up, school shootings where kids are killing teachers and fellow students, was virtually unheard of. Today, school shootings are occurring at an alarming frequency. To me, part of the problem is due to parents not spending enough time with their children. Again it comes down to giving. In this case, it comes down to giving time and knowledge. Parents not giving enough time to their children is another example of morality reduction within our society.

Another example of the immorality prevalent within our society is displayed by the films which come out of Hollywood today. I am sorry to say that most of these films really are to put it bluntly, garbage. Most of these films lack the cerebral quality of the earlier films. From a technical perspective i.e. special effects, they are excellent, but from a cerebral perspective, they are lacking. Most of today’s films rely heavily on special effects in order to appeal to the audience. The common theme for today’s films almost always involves action sequences, sex, and violence. They are always trying to appeal to the dark side of human nature with very little thinking required of the audience. Therefore, most of today’s films are lacking in moral quality. They are produced only to make money for those who are producing them, without any understanding to the implications they may have on society, especially younger people.

Creativity is basically gone from Hollywood and many of the movies coming out today are remakes of successful earlier films. Once and a while a good film will be presented to the American public, but generally speaking most are junk. Most of today’s actors are not really household names. They come and go fairly quickly and lack the staying power of a John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, or Humphrey Bogart. These actors displayed a level of integrity and they new about the personification they were displaying to the American public. They were not perfect, but they did display a higher level of morality.

Is our society spiraling downward into the oblivion of lost hope? I believe not. More and more we are seeing examples which display the positive value of giving. A case in point. Time Magazine finally got it right when they named rock star Bono, and Bill and Melinda Gates as the Persons of the Year for 2005. They were named persons of the year not because of anything that happened at Microsoft and not because Bono is a rock star, they were named persons of the year for their charitable work and activism aimed at reducing global poverty and improving world health. Finally a media organization is recognizing the value of giving.

This concludes part 1. Part 2 can be found by clicking on the authors name at the top of the page.

About the Author: Thomas Sullivan, the author of this article, is a Search Engine Optimizer, Webmaster, and activist for world hunger elimination. He has built and currently maintains several websites. A relevant website he currently manages is

. For comments or suggestions you can go to his email on his website.


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A Look At How To Buy Discount Cigars

By Eddie Tobey

Unlike most cigarettes, cigars are available in a wide variety of prices, and a wide variety of qualities. While the most discerning cigar aficionado can purchase brands costing upwards of several hundred dollars for just a small set, one can also choose from a variety of discount cigars that also offer a genuinely pleasing smoking experience. In fact, some of the highest-quality brands of cigars can often be purchased at greatly reduced prices, if one is willing to do a little bit of looking around. Discount cigars account for a large portion of the multi-million dollar cigar business in North America, making the practice accessible to smokers of all income levels.

One of the most common methods for purchasing discounted cigars is through the Internet. A simple search for discount cigars will produce literally hundreds of results, with dozens upon dozens of low-priced cigars to choose from. One prominent discount cigar merchant, Payless Cigars, has offered low-priced cigars, lighters, humidors, gifts and many other items since 1974. The site is perfect for any cigar aficionado looking for quality products at reduced prices.


Some of the most common brands of premium cigars available at discounted prices include the famous Macanudo brand, which features several different cigars of varying tastes, as well as the well-known Montecristo and Nat Sherman labels. Despite their availability at discounted prices, they are high quality, handcrafted cigars and are widely purchased and smoked buy enthusiasts all over the U.S.

One key to finding real savings in discount cigars is to buy in bulk. Oftentimes, when an individual elects to buy a large assortment of cigars at one time, major discounts are available. Cigar bundles are popular among smokers who desire either a variety of cigar choices, or sheer quantity for gifts to friends or relatives. In most cases, next day delivery is available for a small, additional fee.

Although certain brands of cigars will always be expensive, discount cigar merchants can make many cigars and cigar products affordable for almost anyone.

About the Author: Cigars provides comprehensive information on cigar smoking, Cuban cigars, discount cigars, humidors, lighters, boxes, and more. For more information go to

and/or visit its sister site at

for related information.


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How To Put Landscaping Rocks Around Your House

By John Carlstrom

Rocks and boulders add character to your landscape and bring accent to your design. They can also place layers or levels for your landscape to make an elevated area. In adding rocks, you have to place them in such a way that they will look natural.

Putting rocks can also increase the value of your landscape by making your yard maintenance-free instead of grass. Most of the time, rocks are more pleasing than grass lawn. There are individuals and companies who can do this work for you but if you want to place it yourself, there are a lot of things you can experiment on. Below are tips on how to place rocks in your landscape.

What are the steps in placing rocks in your landscape?

First, you have to kill the weeds and grass at the spot you want to put the rocks. You can use a weed or grass killer and it will help in preventing weeds and grass from sprouting in the future. If you have Bermuda grass, expect that it is harder to kill.


Second, you have to dig up the earth and try to get down to the roots of the grass. You should try to get as many roots and weeds as possible. You can use a shovel or a hoe in digging. Also, it is helpful to water the ground.

Third, you have to have a plan where to put the plants, shrubs and bushes. You can also mark the spots where you want to put your items. Dig a well for watering your plants so that the water can be a supply to the roots.

Fourth, you should place plastic sheeting so that it will prevent the weeds and grass from crawling over your rock lawn. The sheeting are available in your local gardening stores.

Fifth, Place your plants and make cuts at the sheeting. You can also place the bushes and shrubs on the spot you marked. Make sure that you dig using the appropriate depth for the roots.

Sixth, place the rocks on the plastic sheeting. You can also make levels or layers of rocks. Also, evenly disperse the rocks as the base.

In building rock gardens, note that you have to consider the space you are going to allot for the landscape. It could be small or large depending on the spot you chose. In larger spaces, you should be able to create a sprawling garden. But still, you should consider the space you allotted for the rocks before buying the materials.

Also, you should design the color that you are going to put on the rocks. It could be a collection of attractive colors such as red, sandstone and a lot more. The color will also impact the kind and color of plants you want to match with your rocks. Colors also contribute to total beauty of your garden.

With rocks, you will never go wrong with maintenance, beauty and design. You just have to be creative in making a rock lawn.

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