Here's how to be a Halloween superhero!
Here are 5 tips to make the kids grin when you open the door on Halloween:
1. Praise the costumes.
Seriously. These little (and not so little sometimes) artists in the making want to hear how cool or creepy their costume looks. Sure, they're there for the candy. (We'll get to that.) But they are just like you when you wear a new outfit to work... they want to be NOTICED. So notice. You might be surprised how much this means to kids of all ages.
2. Stick to candy or cool stuff.
To a kid, Halloween is like Christmas with costumes. So if you have a real need to not contribute to the tooth decay of the neighborhood kids, hand out something that's cool. So if it's not candy, (and that's ok)... spend a little more and make it cool.
3. Name brand candy only please.
This one night a year, throw caution to the wind and buy the best stuff for the kiddos. Sure it will set you back a few bucks. But the smiles will be worth it.
4. Be generous in ounces.
Make it many little bars or one BIG bar. For just one night a year it's ok to buy smiles with lotsa candy. Pretend it's their only treat that night. Splurge on the kiddos.
5. Be a "full-service" stop on their trip.
Are you thinking of putting the bowl of candy out on the porch with a sign? Maybe a sign that says "Just take one." Uhm... nope. Don't do it. That sign will get ignored quicker than a "Don't walk on the grass" sign. Picture a cute little "Elsa," all of four years old, walking up to your empty candy bowl that the previous kids just cleaned out 10 minutes earlier. So be a hero... meet them at the door. The smiles you get will be worth it!
Trick or Treat Rate Surprise?
While we're on the subject of Trick or Treat, let's talk about the worst trick you may have just gotten in the mail... a rate increase on your auto or home insurance. Call us and talk about- we'll try to turn that "trick" into a "treat" by quoting a better rate if we can.
Photo by Tela Chhe on Flickr, CC Licensed
Get ready for more new homes!
Regardless of the reasons or politics, new home builders are optimistic... more than they have been in a decade!
The good news comes from a recently issued press release by the National Association of Home Builders. The association surveys several hundred home builders each month and asks them how they feel about a couple of things. Simple, emotional gut reactions.
One of the "how do you feel" questions is:
Do you expect sales of new homes, over the next six months, to be good, fair or poor?"
Sounds simple. It is. With that and a few other questions, the association issues a monthly report about how builders feel about the future. They assign it a number, and that number becomes the Housing Market Index (HMI).
The number went up 3 points in October, to 64. That's the highest it's been in 10 years.
Builders are optimistic- so what?
It's a big so what!
When new home builders read the tea leaves... they see more folks buying new homes over the next six months. So they start building now to make sure they've got homes on the market for these new buyers.
New home construction means more materials purchased. That means someone has to make and sell those materials. Jobs are created. Someone then has to build those homes. More jobs created.
New home sales are only a tenth of the housing market- but they pack a punch.
The economy just LOVES new homes!
Is it time to buy a new home?
We can't answer that for you. But considering that the Federal Reserve recently refused to raise interest rates (that was a bit of a shock), interest rates are still at all time lows. No one knows how long the builder optimism will stay high and the rates stay low, but it's a perfect combination for builders and buyers alike.
It could all change in next month's report.
But for now...the economy just got a shot of adrenaline. And that's good news.
Homeowners insurance: St. Clair Insurance: (951) 284-0400.
Caffeinated peanut butter was born last week in New England. It's proof that everything hasn't yet been invented. There's still room for your great idea.
Will you try it?
One serving has the equivalent amount of caffeine as your next grande latte. Your stomach might appreciate this instead of another shot of acidic coffee. Or maybe the thought of two of your favorite things bundled so smoothly is enough to make you a fan.
Order now online. It's making national news.
Photo, Peanut Butter, courtesy Denise Krebs on Flickr. CC Licensed.
The Happy Birthday song was not free to sing.
Until recently, the song Happy Birthday was owned by Warner Music, and you could have gotten in trouble for singing it. But you didn't get in trouble, and no one that you knew got in trouble, because Warner looked the other way when you sang it at your kid's last birthday party.
But some were not so lucky.
Businesses paid Warner Music millions of dollars for the rights to use the Happy Birthday song in ad campaigns. It's the most recognized song in the English language, and it wasn't free.
That all just changed.
Happy Birthday was set free by U.S. District Judge George H. King. He basically gave the song Happy Birthday a new birthday on September 22, 2015. Anyone can now use Happy Birthday for anything they wish. Yay!
Go ahead. Sing it. (You know you want to.)
Copyright and all that stuff.
This is a good time to think about all the Internet stuff you borrow.
If you are a small business owner, small advertising budgets may tempt you to "borrow" stuff from the Internet. A quick Google search and Bam! you've got a picture and a slogan or article.
That "stuff on the Internet" usually belongs to someone.
Businesses get "Cease and Desist" orders from major companies all the time. It really happens. Usually, they get off easy- a bill for a few hundred dollars and removing the "borrowed" material. But sometimes, penalties are huge. Learn the common myths about copyright here.
Personal and Advertising Injury Coverage.
If you are a small business owner, you may have some limited coverage for advertising injury& copyright infringement under your General Liability Insurance. But it may not be automatically included. You need to check your policy or call your insurance agent to be sure.
Don't assume you have this coverage.
Even if you have this coverage, you still need to be careful. The policy language is not always the same between different policies. There are always excluded behaviors. Lawyers can have a field day with your mistakes.
Two pieces of advice.
Most folks will be happy to share what they have created- for a price. Some kind souls will even allow you to use what they create for free, as long as they are asked. Many creatives license their work under Creative Commons, and if you follow their terms, you can use their work.
Call your insurance agent.
If you are a small business owner, now is a good time (heck- it's always a good time!) to call your insurance agent. You should review your business policy each year, and this topic can go on the list of things to discuss. Your agent gets paid to worry about things like this. Call your agent.
Hey, we're going to practice what we peach- here is our required copyright notice for the picture that someone graciously allowed us to use:
Happy Birthday photo by Ben Grey on Flickr. CC Licensed.