Qualities of a Good Baker

Like any other profession, a baker requires certain qualities to qualify as a good baker.

We have consolidated a list of qualities for individuals aspired to be a good baker:

· Passion and good leadership

· Good numerical skills

You will need to measure ingredients, order ingredients that are needed and plan cooking times extensively therefore being good with numbers is an added bonus.

· Creativity

Anyone can bake but to stand out from your competition, the element of creativity is necessary as you are able to offer something different from the crowd.

· Able to work under pressure

Baking is a lot about timing, timing and timing. It is important to grasp the right timing that may cause unnecessary stress. The ability to face the immense amount of stress when the end product does not turn out as expected.

· Good organisational skills

This is essential to keep your ingredients in check and to prevent the kitchen from turning into a warzone every time you bake. Baking can be a tricky thing with so many nitty gritty things to take note of but with good organizational skills, baking will be a breeze.

· Awareness of safety and hygiene rules

Not only should your baking creations taste good, they should also reach strict hygiene standards. You want the people who consume your food to stay safe too. Some countries (especially Singapore) have stringent rules on food safety and hygiene that you should be aware of.

· Reasonable level of physical fitness

As per every job, you need to be physically fit to carry out the job tasks. Baking also consists of carrying heavy trays laden with baking goods and sacks of flour and sugar etc. All these carrying require a fit body to carry out.

· The ability to work in a team

Teamwork is extremely important in a kitchen. You need to be able to work with other people to make beautiful creations on a large-scale. Communication with your team members ensures that things are done efficiently and quickly as well.

· Perceptiveness

This will allow the baker to be sure of the exact mass he/she wants to produce the desired baked goods.

· Time consciousness

This attributes to the ability to carry out and meet orders within the designated time frame.

You need to be able to express your intentions to the people working with you. Clarity is key as one tiny mistake will contribute to the imperfection of the final product.

A baker does not just bake goods but has to take on many different responsibilities. Just like how a teacher does not just teach but has to helm administrative duties, a baker has to learn to work with other people besides just knowing how to bake.



Gadgets To Watch at Best Buy Outlets During Black Friday 2010

One of the most interesting and exciting holiday shopping of the year belongs to Black Friday sales event. Several store outlets will open before the sun rises to offer several discounted items such as laptops, mobile phones, HDTVs, clothing, jewelries and many more.

Among the most popular store gadget fans should look at is Best Buy station. Perhaps, the store has at least 1 near your neighborhood so there’s no chance that you’ll miss it! For the Best Buy Black Friday 2010 event, the shop is expected to offer gadgets and electronic products such as tablet PCs and ginormous HDTVs from popular brands like Sony, Panasonic, Samsung and LG. For smartphone brands, expect to see HTC, Samsung, BlackBerry and T-Mobile line-ups.

For wise shoppers, this is the time of the year to spend and get the latest gadgetry. You could, of course, buy after the product’s latest release but in my opinion that would be impractical to say the least. With Black Friday sales, you can maximize the value of your money – which is good considering that our economy is not on its tip-top shape this year.

One of the trends in our day and age are tablet PCs. Perhaps you are very familiar with Apple’s iPad as well as the craze that went on for months because of this device. Well, it only made Steve Jobs and Apple several billion dollars richer than the rest of us. Now, there are gadget manufacturers who want to take a piece of Apple’s profit by creating their own tablet device. And one of the most popular is the Samsung Galaxy Tab.

The good news is that the Galaxy Tab is rumored to be going on sale at Best Buy come Black Friday of this year at a very competitive price (compared with the iPad). There are 2 versions of it – the Wi-fi and the 3G model with a month-to-month contract plan with Verizon. This Android-powered device will surely be a hit among individuals who are looking for a good iPad alternative (both price and performance point of view). The iPad may look superior because of its status but as you know there is a lot of room for improvements which other tablet creations can take advantage.

So, if you are itching to go and buy a new HDTV, smartphone or a slate device right now I advise you to be patient, save your money and wait a little while. For sure, more deals and offerings will be revealed in the coming days as we approach the big shopping spree.



Sales Incentives – An Incentive Scheme to Boost Sales and Staff Motivation

Offering a great company product or service is sometimes just never enough to encourage sales, more so in the tough economic climate we’re facing.

Travel Voucher Incentives have the ideal sales incentive. As well as an incentive scheme to boost sales that puts more profit on the table, builds customer loyalty and longevity, while enhancing the perceived value of your products or services, we also have a great staff motivation incentive to get your workforce more productive.

Sales incentives have the power to encourage maximum productivity from your staff by showing them that you actually do appreciate their input and can increase business turnover quite considerably, for a very minimal additional cost.

Have you ever considered a sales incentive idea that gives the end user a Discount Holiday and Free Bahamas Cruise? This works extremely well with any business sector whatsoever and comprises:

  • 7 free night’s hotel accommodation in a top Florida Hotel…
  • Free hire car rental…
  • Free theme park tickets…
  • Free Florida winery excursion and wine tasting… Plus…
  • A Free 5-day, 4-night Bahamas Cruise with ‘above-deck’ cabin and all meals and entertainment provided.

It needn’t cost a fortune to offer them to your potential customers, clients or staff. From as little as £45.00 each for a minimum quantity of 25, there’s no better way to award a sales incentive that gives your company the recognition it needs in times where increasing sales are a top priority.

Our Discount Holiday Cruise Vouchers are A5 size, high quality glossy 8-sided card brochure with everything the end user needs to activate and redeem the voucher. There’s nothing else for you to do but give them out with your compliments.

Each voucher comes with 2 x tear-off check certificates with a face value of $2000.00 (approximately £1500.00) per certificate which entitles the recipient to take the above itinerary with a loved one, partner or even by themselves.

The remaining $2000.00 voucher can be used to take an additional two people; children or family members or can even be ‘gifted’ if required. Each voucher lasts for 3 years and gives the end user adequate time to plan travel dates and make arrangements for their luxury dream holiday.

Our Discount Holiday Cruise Vouchers can be printed with your own company logo for orders over 5000. We also offer a single sample voucher that you’re free to use if you wish, for a small cost of £149.95. This cost is then deducted from your first order of 25 or more vouchers.   As you can appreciate, offering sample vouchers for free means they could be used by everyone requesting them. We simply have to cover our costs and hence, make a small charge which is then deducted from any future orders. 

To find out more about our incentive scheme [http://www.Travel-Voucher-Incentives.com], whether it’s to increase sales of motivate staff, Travel Voucher Incentives have put together a free “Discount Holiday Cruise Voucher Report”, which shows some of the best ways to promote your business using our quality discount vouchers.

We also give you some great ideas for your literature; promotional flyers etc, and even give you some great email templates you can use or modify for your own needs.

Travel Voucher Incentives don’t just sell you sales incentive vouchers, we help your business profit from them.



Pricing Strategies for Your Services

What’s the best way to price a product or service? What are the things that you have to take into consideration? Most business owners who are not very sure what to do will simply use their competitor’s pricing and either price below it or above it. The question to ask then is, how would you know that their pricing strategy is right?

Let’s look at the factors you need to take into consideration when pricing. First, you need to determine your pricing objectives. It basically defines what we want to achieve. There are 3 pricing objectives to consider.

1. Revenue-Oriented Pricing

It is setting a price that will maximize revenue from the target market. For example, if your daycare centre is offering something which other daycare centres are not able to offer such as a particular curriculum, then you can consider this objective.

2. Operations-Oriented Pricing

It seeks to balance supply and demand. It introduces cheaper prices during the lull periods (or when demand is low) and raises prices during peak periods (when demand is higher). For example, during the holiday season, when parents do not send their kids in, you can offer short courses / electives.

3. Target Market Pricing

It uses different prices for different target markets. For example, you can offer parents who put more than one child at your daycare centre a discount from parents who only place just one child at your centre.

Next, you need to think about the pricing strategy you are intending to adopt. Pricing strategy defines how you are going to achieve your objective. There are 3 different strategies in which you can adopt.

a. Market skimming

Do you think that your daycare centre or its services generates added value? Do you think your customers will be able to afford it? Are you the only or selected daycare centre that is offering it? If you answer is yes, then you can consider market skimming. It basically involves charging the highest possible price. You will need to decide if whatever you are offering is something which the customer values. For example, you are offering a particular curriculum which other daycare centres are not offering and you think that this value added curriculum is something which your customer will be willing to pay for. Or your centre is the only centre in town that closes at 8pm and it is something which you think your customer values and is willing to pay for. To charge a higher price will also mean that you need to communicate that to your potential customer through effective promotional means.

b. Market penetration

If there are a number of daycare centres and all of you are offering basically the same curriculum or services, then you should consider penetration pricing. It basically means keeping the price low in order to gain a greater market share.

c. Price adaptation

The last and most complicated strategy is price adaptation. It is offering different prices to different target market. For example, parents who places 2 or more children at your daycare centre is offered a discounts. But what happens when one of the sibling becomes of school going age. It might be difficult to revert back to the higher price.

Pricing strategies is something which plague many business owners. Whilst pricing lower might mean higher chances of increasing recruitment, the low prices might mean that you need to cut back on some luxuries such as quality meals or curriculum, which could impact the image of your daycare centre. Therefore, it is important to think very carefully before setting a price because in most instances, it’ll be difficult to reverse that decision.



The Low-Down on This Summer’s Shades

It seems like there is a worldwide plot to alter trends in sunglasses on a nearly yearly basis. It fails of course, but eventually something that should have never been in the first place becomes a trend through sheer persistence. Growing up we had a drawer in our house that held nothing but sunglasses of every size, shape and color. My parents finally sold that house and while moving them recently we rediscovered the drawer. Inside was a fifty year history of sunglasses in America. My sisters inspected each pair recalling who they belonged to and what vacation they were from or what boy they were dating at the time. My two daughters were of course ecstatic and gleefully picked out the ones they wanted, which was nearly all of them.

Back then only a few designers had gotten into the sunglasses game. We of course had Ray-Bans and Oakleys, which cost plenty, but there were no Dior, Gucci or Armani sunglasses to be found when I was growing up. Today you can’t throw a stick in an optometrist’s office without hitting a dozen designer frames. I’m not so vain that I will only wear the latest fashions, but if I’m dropping some money on a pair I prefer to get something that’s at least in style right now.

Oversized sunglasses are still in for better or worse. I tried a few frames by Gucci and Prada and laughed because some were so big they looked more like a mask than sunglasses. No, I don’t have an especially small face. Like all designer trends, they’ve taken it a step closer to ridiculous in an attempt to be unique. What is new is the variety of lens shapes and colors. I still can’t look at them without thinking of Charlie’s Angels.

Aviator glasses are also still in, but have undergone some kind of fashion inflicted mutation. Double frames, rose tinted gradient lenses, oh my. These have never been my go to as they just simply look like dude glasses. It doesn’t matter how well you do your hair, how sexy you dress or even how red your lipstick is, you still look like you’re wearing your brother’s sunglasses.

Of course cat eye sunglasses are back because they’re fabulous. I’m hoping this is a style that never goes away and even if it does I’m still wearing them until the day I die. I had a pair of black and green Armani’s with full tint lenses that made the beach at noon look like the dark side of the moon. I tried to find another pair after mine were lost somewhere between Nassau and Chicago, but they don’t sell that model anymore which is horrible.

If you do pick up a new pair of sunglasses this summer, remember not to throw your old ones out. Put them in that drawer with all the others so that someday you can pass them on. Plus you never know, they could come back in style.



Artificial Grass for Ideal Lawn

What do you have to do when you want to have ideal lawn?

You spend much time on spraying, mowing, trimming, and fertilizing the grass. You pay bills for watering, when you are going on holidays you ask your neighbors to take care of your lawn. And when you finally have the perfect lawn you are afraid that kids or pets can damage it…

Too much worries…Is there another way for having ideal lawn without extra efforts and problems?

Yes, if you use artificial grass.

Artificial grass is a pioneering product made of polymer fibers that offers the opportunity to own a healthy lush looking, practically no maintenance lawn all year round offering numerous advantages:

  • Never again you will have to look at ugly scorched grass in the summer
  • You will never have to water your grass
  • It stays green and lush all year round
  • It is child friendly making it perfect for playing and rolling on as well as picnics and inflatable swimming pools.
  • It may be applied to any size or shaped garden including roof terraces and patios.
  • It is the perfect answer to muddy patches that arise in shaded areas, and moss does not easily occur.

How to choose artificial grass for your lawn?

Choose high quality product that will ensure beautiful color in all weathers, season after season, year after year. To ensure lasting color of the lawn, the artificial grass must have no fade guarantee. For safe usage it must be made of non-toxic materials.

Artificial grass is the only way to forget about cutting the grass and trimming the edges. With artificial grass all you do is just enjoying your luxury garden and lawn with no efforts.



Places to Visit in New York

New York is a buzzing, vibrant city which attracts thousand of tourists each and every year who come to experience its huge buildings, fantastic museums, quality restaurants and world-class shopping. New York is a place where you can find various multicultural and diverse populations, also it varies from desperately poor to the height of excess. This diversity and variation ensures an interesting and lively atmosphere and brings its own unique flavor in each district.

New York City boasts more for its amazing sights than anywhere else in the US, New York has a charm to make people feel as if they know the city before they’ve even been there. In my article I have mention the top-most places to visit and things to do in New York, so that the visitors can easily figure out the most important places to see. So if you are in USA planning next visit to New York then book visit us and book cheap airline tickets. So buy cheap flights to your travel destination now and save more money.

The Statue of Liberty: A lovely gift given by the people of France stands for what New York is all about. The best place to start exploring New York is from visiting The Statue of Liberty. It is one of the most prestigious as well as famous monuments in the world. For the visitors climbing up to 354 steps to reach the statue’s crown is a life time memorable experience and it is completely different from a postcard or photograph of the statue. The Statue of Liberty is situated in New York Harbor with standing on 12-acre Liberty Park. For a panoramic view of the city u must visit the observation deck. And in order to cherish the amazing engineering structure, you can tour the national monument. Viewing this beautiful statue is one of the moving experiences for the visitors.

Central Park: For providing some very much-needed open area for Manhattan’s fast growing expanding population, this 843-square-mile have been designed in the mid of 19th century. In the heart of concrete jungle the construction of Central Park have became a peaceful sanctuary among the New Yorkers. The park contains 58 miles of pavements and is encircled by a six mile loop. You can send your entire evening by taking a stroll along the park, Central Park is a major place of attraction for tourists and residents because for everyone of all ages the park has something to provide, beside walking and jogging you will also come across a marionette theater carousel, restaurants a zoo and an observatory. In the month of November and March you can see the famous ice rinks. For more added fun you can rent a boat from the Loeb Boathouse on the Central Park Lake.

Chelsea Galleries: Chelsea has become the art capital of New York during the nineties, as huge number of galleries has moved into the area. Chelsea Galleries is now an important stopping place for anyone having interest with the latest from the city’s contemporary art scene.

Visitors with the love for museum will find New York as a heaven, as New York offer a large number of world-class contemporary museums. Museum lovers will consider The Museum of Modern Art as one of the finest museum, which display more than 100,000 sculptures, paintings, photographs and prints. Pieces by Picasso, Van Gogh, and Claude Monet’s Water Lillies generally attract the visitors. The museum has about 30 million artifacts in its collection house. At the museum of Natural History the three halls for dinosaur are also highly impressive.

Sunset at Riverside Park South: On Riverside Boulevard at Riverside Park South there is a new 600-ft pier. You can bring your camera to capture the view up and down the Hudson; people find the place very romantic, spectacular and sweeping. People from all areas of the city gather over here to enjoy the spectacular views of sunset. You can also find outdoor restaurant, barbecues, bar and good music which goes well with the atmosphere.

Astroland Amusement Park: Situated at Coney Island offers various kind of adventurous games and wonderful rides. Cyclone Roller Coaster will bring thrills and chills to the kids as well as to the grown ups. The park has arcade game room where you can play all kinds of video games.

Even though New York can be very different but, it is quite clear that New York has a wide number of attractions to satisfy all tastes and this is without mentioning the New York Yankees Stadium, Chinatown, St Patrick’s Cathedral, New York Aquarium or the Radio City Music Hall. Being a big business city, you can still find many places to visit for both natives and tourists. You can come across many beautiful places to relax and refresh numerous parks, cars and skyscrapers, splendid beauty of nature.



Have Your Own Christmas Decorating Ideas

Whenever the months ending on -ber starts, it triggers the upcoming holiday season. People then starts on thinking some ways on how to decorate their homes, the streets or even on their offices.

Since Christmas is a yearly occasion, it is not practical to buy Christmas decorations every year. So what can you do to complete the aura of this festivity without spending too much? All you need is to have bright holiday decorating ideas and recycle those old decorating stuffs you had last year.

Easy and Affordable Holiday Decorating Ideas

1. Do you have old teddy bears hidden on your cabinets? Take them out because this is their time to shine. If you have three or more teddy bears, arrange them on a table, top of the chimney wall or under your Christmas tree. Dress these teddies with green scarves and red mittens. You can wrap empty boxes with Christmas wrappers and place them on the lap of these teddies or you could just place Christmas candies on these teddies’ hands.

2. Regarding your Christmas tree, you could decorate it the old-fashioned way. Nuts that are wrapped with aluminum foil along with pine cones sprayed with gold paint will give a vintage look. You could accessorize it with red and green ribbons plus white paper strips as snowflakes to give a more Christmas aura.

3. Get an empty glass clear jar. Place an old angel figurine on the cap of the jar using a glue stick or mighty bond. Cut small star shaped and pine tree shaped pieces on a green, red, yellow aluminum foils. Fill the jar with clear water and pour in the cut aluminum foils in the jar. Now close the jar with the cap and place it upside down making the cap of the jar as the base.

4. Decorate your doors with flowers and ribbons. You could do your own poinsettia flowers with colored papers and put some glitters on it to add Christmas effect and place it on the top center of your door. For the doorknobs, you could tie some ribbons on it.

5. Create Christmas photo frames. With the use of illustration boards, you could create your own photo frames. Use the black portion of the illustration board and spray it with silver or gold paint. Put your last year’s Christmas pictures on it.

6. Design your streets with a family of snowman, each representing a member of your family. Dress them up with scarves and different characteristics that describe each member.

7. How about your office table? Why not pick up the mugs on your table and accessorize it with ribbons and Christmas decorations. You could paint it as well like painting a snowman with candy bar on the surface of the mug and tie a ribbon on the handle of the mug.

8. You could as well cover your office table with Christmas wrappers and place underneath its glass cutouts of your pictures. Cut these pictures on varying sizes such as star-shaped, pine-tree shaped, or snowman shaped.

These are just a few of the many decorating ideas you could come up to in accessorizing your place with Christmas ornaments.



Where Have All The Cheap Flights and Holidays Gone?

Not so very long ago, it was always possible to grab a holiday or flight bargain by waiting until the last day or two before departure. Now the game has changed. Here is an outline of the factors which have caused the change.

The main driver for holiday costs up to the 1980’s / early 1990s has been the cost of airline seats. Tour operators had the choice to use scheduled carriers with special IT rates or group rates: but they also had the choice of chartered flights. In both scenarios, they had to make a commitment to a seasonal programme, and built their prices around seasonal yield. Especially in the case of charter flight series, an empty seat on the day of travel was a loss of value.

A well-managed programme allowed a certain number of empty seats (especially in low season) to be an acceptable loss – and one which could be mitigated by seat sales at any price the market would allow. Thus cheap flights, and the holidays which formed part of the packages, were available days before departure for those with a flexible attitude to destination and dates.

As bigger operators took control of all elements of the holiday package, “in-house” airlines took the management of this cost balance to a different level. Their pricing policies – or “yield management” equations – could be handled in the context of overall profit margins of the holiday company as a whole. But it is how these in-house airlines are run which pinpoints a major difference in those policies.

The rise of the so called “no frills” airlines has overturned the old pricing models. They no longer discount the day before you fly. Ryanair and easyJet amongst many others now use a pricing model first mooted by US carrier Southwest Airlines. And holiday company “in-house” airlines have followed suit.

What Southwest realised is that once you introduce an uncertainty about whether the price will fall at a later date, many people will delay buying. The “no frills” carriers, under the guise of offering absurdly low, loss-leading fares, have the advantage of controlling all their own sales through phone sales and online. Thus they can change the price every minute, based on “yield management” algorithms. They use that control to manage expectations of the buying public. They have chosen to ensure that prices continue to rise until take off – so if you resist buying early, you will never again see the price as low.

This policy – now taken up by in-house holiday airlines, encourages commitment to a specific flight (and also holiday) as early as possible. Cheap, last-minute bargains have largely been replaced by “early bird” offers and “points” cards to generate sales for slow trade periods or low season capacity – without unduly reducing the price the airlines and holiday companies can command for the last-minute traveller.



All Inclusive California Vacations

The demand for all inclusive California vacations is on the increase as they are perfect for a quick getaway. It is one of the most popular options available to travelers in California. They take care of a wide assortment of vacation needs at an all-inclusive price. It is Ideal for travelers looking for fun and entertainment all in one package. All inclusive California vacations are package deals that include everything to make your vacation truly memorable. With these packages, the traveler can save money and time.

The facilities covered in the all inclusive California vacations vary greatly, it depends on the rates offered by tour operators and resorts. Most all inclusive California vacations include transfers from the airport, comfortable accommodations, all meals and snacks, all beverages with or without alcohol, all hotel taxes and tips, entertainment, and recreational opportunities.

Certain all inclusive California vacation packages cover night entertainments, land sports, and non-motorized water sports.

There are many tour operators and travel agents in California who provide assistance in planning an all inclusive vacation. The cost of all inclusive California vacation packages depends on the range of facilities offered in the package. Normally it must include the hotel room or bungalow, meals, and transportation to various places and other basic activities. So, prior to signing an all inclusive vacation package, it is necessary to compare the different packages offered by tour operators. Make sure to take advantage of all discounts that are offered in the vacation package.

Balboa Bay Club and Resort, Evergreen Lodge at Yosemite, Granlibakken at Lake Tahoe, the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn, and Warner Springs Ranch are some of the all inclusive vacation resorts in California.