Road Trip Checklist

rad trip

Road Trip Checklist

Heading out on a road trip?
I went on a road trip last week and the process of getting ready to go made me think that that could make a good blog topic. That is, a blog on the check list of what to do to prepare your vehicle for a long trip.
Usually I just take my car to my mechanic and I tell him to check everything that needs to be checked and do whatever maintenance needs to be done to make it roadworthy.
For this trip, however, I left it too long and by the time I called, there was no time for a regular appointment. My mechanic said he could squeeze me in if I wanted to drop my car off, but that wasn’t practical for me.
I needed my car and I couldn’t just drop it off for half a day or a whole day.
So I said to my mechanic, owning responsibility for my procrastination, Oh don’t worry about it. I’ll just go on to YouTube or somewhere and get a check list for getting ready for the trip.
He chuckled indulgently and proceeded to rattle off a long list of things that I should check.
Not being an auto rat, as I was listening to his third point of his list, I got lost. Somewhere between looking at the expansion tank and checking the belt, I glazed over and totally tuned out the rest of what he had to say.
I decided I would trust YouTube to come through for me.
So later that night I googled Check list for a long road trip. I decided to go that route instead of YouTube because I wanted to see it written down. I didn’t want to just watch some yahoo tell me what to do.
So I got the check list and thought I would pass that on to you in this blog.
So if you’re going on a road trip, there are several things that you need to make sure you do.
Number one
Check your oil. Make sure that you have oil between the minimum and maximum level on your dipstick, and if it’s low, add to it. I did actually find out that It’s a good idea to have your oil changed before the trip. I of course also left that too long, so that didn’t happen, but I at least checked the oil to make sure I had enough in there.
Number two
Check the air in the tires. If you don’t know how to do this, take along your 17 -year-old son, because chances are he will know how to do it and be able to do it for you. But this is what I found out. If you look at the sticker on the inside of your driver side door, it will tell you what PSI your tires should be at.
And then you take your handy-dandy tire pressure gauge, available for $2.50 at any convenience store, and check the current pressure in your tires. Then use the air filler upper thing to put air in your tires and then measure the tire after you filled it up to make sure that you got it to the proper PSI. Do that for all four of your tires.
Number three
Check your expansion tank. This is the tank that contains the overflow from your radiator. Apparently when your car is hot the water level rises in the radiator and overflows into the expansion tank, and then when the engine cools down, the water gets sucked back into the radiator.
But if you look at the expansion tank then you can tell how much water is in your radiator and you don’t have to mess with the radiator. You can just add water to the expansion tank, making sure that the level is somewhere between minimum and maximum.
Number four
Look at your serpentine belt. Look for cracks and splits. If you see those, you should take it to a shop and get that checked and maybe replaced.
So that’s the basic checklist that will mostly cover your bases if you are doing a do-it-yourself road trip vehicle preparation extravaganza.

Label Design and Packaging

label

Label Design and Packaging

In a product launch, the main task after perfecting the product itself Is the marketing of the product, and marketing Is all about the label design on the product and the packaging.
Sometimes smaller companies will skimp on label design and packaging design. This is a big mistake. The greatest investment during the marketing process should be put into the label and packaging.
The reason this is so important is that at the end of the launch when the product is sitting on the shelves in the store, the label and the packaging are what Is going to draw the customer.
The average attention span of a customer is three seconds. This means that a product has three seconds of viewing time from a customer in which to communicate everything about the product and why that customer should buy the product.
This means that the label and packaging need to be attention-getting, colorful, unique, and containing all important information that can be read quickly.
The information that should be on the label and on the packaging should include a very clear description of what the product is. It should also mention who the product is for and how it should be used.
Sometimes my clients get hung up on the verbiage for the label and packaging. They have sort of lost sight of what should go on the label or packaging because they have gotten so close to the product.
When this happens, I recommend to them that they do one of two things: Number one, that they run a test group and have the test group give their opinion as to what information Is unclear or missing; Number two, they should look at competitors’ labels and packages to see what information is on those.
I also recommend to my clients that if they are insecure about their writing skills or their graphic design skills, that they hire a professional. It’s definitely worth the investment. A professional writer or designer will be able to accomplish what you need to have done in a fraction of the time that you could do it, and it will be much more professional.
You do not want your label or package design to look less than professional. Don’t skimp; get someone on your team who knows what they’re doing.
The label needs to sell the consumer on the product. It also needs to sell another person on the product. That person is the wholesale buyer who will take your product and get it onto the shelves of the store.
That buyer needs to be impressed when he or she first sees the label and packaging. If you don’t get a wow out of that person, you are missing the mark, and you are leaving sales on the table.
So this is how I try to coach my clients – – about the importance of a great label design and packaging, of effective written content, and the tools they can use to get both.
My clients have found that when they invest in their marketing in this way, they experience success.

How to Pack for a Trip

trip

How to Pack for a Trip

I know this is a blog about food product launching, but since it is my blog, I am allowed to throw in articles on various random topics as I desire.
I told you in my last article that I went on a road trip. In the last article I also gave you a checklist for vehicle preparation for a road trip.
In this article I thought it might be a good idea to have a checklist of what to take on a trip.
Since we are currently in the season where half of America goes on road trips, the timing will be right.
The Clothes You Will Need
When you are going on a trip, you need to first keep in mind what you are doing on that trip. This will determine what clothes you bring and what equipment or toys or extra paraphernalia you need.
The easiest part of the planning to start with is clothes planning. You first determine how many days you’re going to be gone and then you pack that many days of outfits plus a couple extra in case of some unfortunate occurrence, like the waiter spills red wine down the back of your white silk shirt.
Think through the activities that will happen during the days that you are packing for. Will you be only in casual environments? If so you can probably get away with flip-flops and a T-shirt for every single day.
Is it a mix of casual activities during the day and some more dressy occasions at night?
Think through how many dressy occasions you need to plan for and what those occasions are. They may dictate what kind of outfits you pack for those occasions.
When you have identified the nature of your days and the dress requirement for days and nights, set out your outfits. Then pack all of those outfits in your bag.
Remember underwear. I can’t tell you how many trips I have gone on when I faithfully packed everything but showed up with no packed underwear. The next day I had to go out and buy underwear. That is a hassle.
The other thing that’s easy to forget is pajamas.
Activities to Pack For
Next think about what particular activities you will be doing on your trip.
Is this a Camping trip? If so, then you need to take your planning to another whole level. See my blog on packing for camping.
Are you going to the beach? Or to a resort or hotel? Be sure to pack flip-flops or water shoes, beach towels, sunscreen, and swimwear.
Are you going to be hiking? Pack tennis shoes or hiking boots, sunscreen, good socks, and a canteen for carrying water.
Are you going to be visiting an amusement park? Be sure to pack very comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen, and a backpack for carrying around stuff through the park.
Personals and Food
Remember your toiletries. Toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, hairbrush, make up remover, hair supplies, body spray.
Will you be packing your lunches or taking all of your food? Taking some of your food? Only needing snacks? Think about your food needs and write down everything you will need each day that you’re taking food. Then pack all of that in one or two milk crates.
That about sums it up for packing for a trip.
I hope this has been helpful and I hope you have a great trip.

All About Property Restoration

property

All About Property Restoration

In addition to my product launch company, I also own a bunch of rental properties. I don’t have time to manage the rental properties so I use a company to take care of that for me. It’s not a property management company. It’s a property restoration company.
I still do the work of finding and screening them and all of that. But the property restoration company takes care of cleaning the places when renters move out, re-keying, and repairs of all sorts.
Sometimes when people move out, the places involve quite a bit of work. There can be painting that needs to be done, window repairs, screen repairs, electrical and re-wiring work, and usually landscaping.
I find that my tenants, although they are decent ones because I have found them myself, still don’t take care of my properties like they are their own. When it comes to landscaping, unless I provide a lawn service that includes tree trimming and hedge trimming, I find that the tenants will not keep the places up for me.
Then either when they move out or on a regular basis, I hire the property restoration company to come in and get all of the landscape spiffed up.
This can include tree trimming, raising the understory of the trees, trimming bushes, repairing sprinklers, and so on and so forth.
I use the property restoration company because quite frankly they can do the job faster than I can and it’s worth paying them to do it so that I don’t have to worry about that. I still make enough on the property that they are worth having somebody else do the turnover work.
Sometimes I will buy a foreclosure home and use the same company to come in and get that ready for occupancy. They will do pressure washing, drywall repair, handyman service, pool service, glass and residential window repair, plumbing, septic pump outs, electrical repair, painting, and lawn and shrubbery maintenance.
There are quite a few companies that provide this sort of service, but the best one I’ve found is out of Florida. If you’re looking for a property restoration company, search for curb appeal, and also search for these cities: Orlando, Oviedo, Clermont, New Smyrna, Deltona, Daytona, Deland, Sanford, Longwood, Lake Mary, Winter Park, Winter Garden, Ocoee, Windemere, Apopka, Minneola, and Groveland.  You may come up with a company such as Curb Appeal Fixers.
The company has been around for a while and has a great reputation. If you go to their website, you can see testimonials written by satisfied customers.

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