Archive for January, 2018

Lovely Paris Hotel Choices

Located in the 14th arrondissement of Paris which is situated on the left bank of the River Seine, 9HOTEL MONTPARNASSE is a lovely choice for your stay in the capital city of France. Referred to by many guests as a non-touristy area, this location will give you an opportunity to get a feel for the everyday Paris, so to speak. In fact, famous artists such as Picasso, Modigliani, Chagall, and Hemingway used to reside in this very area. The hotel’s location near a train station, pubs, theaters and several other attractions also makes it a wonderful choice.

Even without the nearby landmarks and great location, the hotel itself is something to desire. With 42 modern-styled rooms, a library and a lounge bar along with a host of other services, this boutique hotel design is sure to impress.

Services & Amenities

Breakfast choices presented at the 9HOTEL MONTPARNASSE are plentiful. They include homemade fresh fruit and vegetable cocktails, an assortment of breads and pastries, pancakes, bagels, a variety of cheeses and cold cuts, Asian cup noodles and more! Breakfast is about 12 euros per person ($13.34 USD).

Other services include a multilingual staff, free Wi-Fi in all rooms, individual safes, room service, laundry service, among a host of other offerings.

Keep in Mind

~Rooms are compact, yet efficient. So, don’t be surprised if your room isn’t as big as other hotels you’ve been in. However, no need to be alarmed as this is common in Paris.

~The showers are made of glass and face into the room. So, you may only want to get a room with someone you feel comfortable showering in front of.

If you’re looking for a great place to stay that is near some of the more popular tourist attractions in Paris, Hotel Duminy Vendome is an ideal choice. The Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, Musée d’Orsay, Musée du Louvre, Arc de Triomphe and The Galeries Lafayette are all just a short distance away from the hotel. A subway station is also close by for added convenience.

Located in the 1st arrondissement, this 78-room boutique hotel offers sleek, modern and charming lodging. If you happen to get a taste for an alcoholic beverage during the night, you can enjoy the on-site bar that offers a variety of choices.

Services & Amenities

Along with the on-site bar, Duminy Vendome also offers a host of other features such as a business corner, 24-hour room service, free Wi-Fi access, and satellite television.

A breakfast buffet is also available every morning. Food choices include pastries, toast, coffee, herbal tea, hot chocolate, fresh fruit salad, cheese, cold cuts and more.

Keep in Mind

~A few guests have complained about mild noise coming from a bar next door. This isn’t usually a problem during the day, but may be a slight issue at night depending on where your room is located. If you think this will be a problem, try to request a room that is on a higher floor.

~The rooms are somewhat compact, which is common for Paris.

~There is only one small elevator available, so it may take longer than usual going from floor to floor. Luckily stairs are available if you aren’t interested in waiting.

Featuring outstanding Parisian views, the Hotel des Arts in Montmarte is a unique and desirable choice. Celebrating the artistic heritage of the area, the hotel features a host of displays from local painters. The artistic aura isn’t just confined to the walls of the hotel, however. Less than a half a mile away is the Place du Tertre, an art square where artists set up their easels to showcase their creative works.

The views available from the rooms are a sight to behold. Some rooms even offer views of the Eiffel Tower. The close proximity to two metro stations also provides added convenience.

Services & Amenities

Breakfast is offered every morning, housed in an intimate basement setting with original stone walls. There is also a business corner with a fax machine, room service, soundproofed rooms, free wireless internet connection, flat-screen televisions and more.

Keep in Mind

~Many travelers have noted that food is not allowed in the rooms nor are there any mini-fridges available in the rooms. So, you should keep this in mind when you are purchasing perishable foods to take back home.

~The rooms are compact, but this isn’t unusual for Paris.

originally Published- http://marieshelita.hubpages.com/hub/Lovely-Paris-Hotel-Choices

The Best Ways To Use Tech In Your Business

You may not realise that technology can be a wonderful resource for a small business like yours. We are here to show you how. Whether you are looking to market your business effectively or keep it safe, we guarantee technology offers the answer. Let’s look at some of the best ways you can use the latest tech solutions to give your business a boost.

Tech Promotion

There are a lot of blogs online claiming that internet marketing is free. While this isn’t exactly true, digital promotion is still excellent value for money. It can be particularly useful for a small business owner such as yourself. By promoting your business online using the latest software, you will ensure that it is seen by the biggest market possible. This is important and will guarantee you have a strong chance of gaining a better position on the marketplace quickly.

When we refer to online marketing, we usually mean concepts such as SEO and CRO. These are valuable methods of promotion that you should be investing in. But, you should also think about more radical ways to market your business using technology. For instance, you may want to consider creating an app for your company. If you use an app, it can be a great tool to market your business. But as well as this, it can allow consumers a different form of interacting with your company. It’s a great way of securing your place in the modern market.

 

Tech Security

As the owner of a new company, you should be thinking of investing in network security services. The online world is a dangerous place for a new business, and you need to keep your network protected. You should be thinking about potential hacks and cyber thefts. Remember, keeping passwords and encryptions on important files will only go so far to stopping hackers. Ideally, you need to hire a service that specialises in protecting your network. They’ll maintain your business network and deal with any problems as they arise. You won’t have to worry about losing the trust of your customers or facing any down time.

Tech Cost Cutting

You can use technology to cut the costs of your business. There are a lot of tasks you won’t need to hire employees for because technology can handle it for you. For instance, you no longer need an accountant to deal with your business finances. You can get the latest software that manages your costs and savings effectively. You’ll have complete access and be in complete control of your spendings. We are sure you can see how attractive this possibility is for a business owner such as yourself.

You can also use digital services to save money in your business. For example, you might still be using a faxing machine to transfer documents to colleagues and clients. These are expensive and can be difficult to maintain. They are also obsolete. The latest software allows the easy transfer of files digitally straight to your email, no matter how big.

It seems clear then that tech isn’t just one of the best solutions to improving your business. It’s the only solution.

Food Importers – FDA Issues New Guidance Aimed at Expediting Your Importations

The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is the most sweeping reform of our food safety laws in more than 70 years and was signed into law by President Obama on January 4, 2011. FSMA aims to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus from responding to contamination to preventing it. FSMA requires FDA to establish a voluntary, fee-based program, named the “Voluntary Qualified Importer Program” (VQIP) which promises expedited review and importation of foods from importers who achieve and maintain a high level of control over the safety and security of their supply chains.

Recently the FDA published a draft version of “Guidance for Industry: FDA’s Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP)”.  According to FDA’s website, VQIP will also benefit consumers by enabling the FDA to focus its resources on high risk foods, further protecting consumers from the potential health hazards associated with those foods. In order for a food importer to be eligible for the VQIP program, the importer should:

  1. Have at least a 3 year history of importing foods
  2. Have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number
  3. Use a paperless filer/broker who received a passing rating during their last FDA evaluation
  4. Import food that is not subject to an import alert or Class 1 recall
  5. Not be, nor any non-applicant entity associated with the VQIP food be, subject to an FDA administrative or judicial action, have a history of significant non-compliance with food safety, or have one or more voluntary food recalls
  6. Assure compliance with several FSMA regulations
  7. Possess a current facility certification
  8. Have a clear 3 year history with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), meaning no CBP penalties, forfeitures, or sanctions.
  9. Pay the annual VQIP user fee before October 1st of the intended year of participation (FDA estimated flat fee of $16,400 annually), and
  10. Develop and implement a Quality Assurance Program (QAP)

Having a robust QAP program is one of the most vital components to have in place to qualify for VQIP and will be one of the largest hurdles for eligibility for those that do not have a QAP program in place. QAP is a compilation of the written polices and procedures a food importer will need in order to ensure adequate control over the safety and security of the foods to be imported. The QAP portion of the VQIP application will be time consuming and difficult to navigate, but with expert help, it can be manageable. FDA believes financial benefits of VQIP will outweigh the efforts in the application process.

FDA estimates that the VQIP program will officially commence in January, 2018.

All food importers that want a faster, streamlined supply chain should consider participation in VQIP. For more information on VQIP, or assistance in developing your QAP program, or want to make sure your voice is heard during the comment period, contact me anytime at jdiaz@bplegal.com.

Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

Let’s look at marketing 10 tips dedicated to small businesses that can help us increase our customer base and our sales.

Specialize in one type of product

The produce or offer only one type of product or service will allow us to be experts or specialists in what we do or offer and, thereby, to provide a product or service quality.

The specialize in one type of product will also allow us to capture more customers, since they, seeing us as experts or specialists, have a high perceived value of our products and we choose rather than competition.

Even the specialize in one type of product will allow us to increase our prices because consumers are willing to pay more if they believe that anyone who produces or offers goods or services, is a specialist in what he does.

Specialize in one type of consumer

This council is a variation of the first, is to direct our products to only a certain type of consumer.

The focus on a specific audience type will allow us to specialize in it and know very well their needs, preferences, customs and habits and, thus offering a product specially dedicated to meet those needs, tastes and preferences, and design strategies or making decisions based on these customs and habits.

Create an identity

Create an identity means giving a unique style to our business or our products.

By creating an identity position our brand in the minds of consumers, which in turn enables us they identify with our brand and recognize it at any time.

Our identity can be based on any differentiation or important feature in our products, in the style or the way we serve in the design or combination of colors we use, etc.

Offer variety

We specialize in one type of product and consumer, and create our own identity or style, but at the same time, we must offer variety.

Consumers are always looking for variety. Can we achieve to be faithful to our products, but eventually left to find variety in them, we will soon leave and go to competition.

To provide variety we offer different alternatives and constantly launch new products without thereby changing the type or style of our current products.

Listen to the customer

Listening to the customer is being permanently attentive to their opinions, suggestions, comments, complaints or claims.

Even, we must try to find this information, for example, using surveys, creating a suggestion box, talking with them and asking what is your opinion about our products, calling them by phone to see how it fared with their use, etc.

This will allow us to tailor our products to their needs, tastes and preferences, and know what we are doing wrong, what we need to improve, what should we remove or change.

Getting the data of our customers and make a database

We should always try to get the data of our clients such as your name, address, phone, email and date of birth, so that we can create a database that will help us better understand our customers, follow them up and maintain contacts with they.

For example, we can send you a thank you card, greeting or greetings, and so seek to win their loyalty, or we can send a printed newsletter by mail or an email newsletter to your email, on our new offers or promotions.

To get your data we can make use of promotions, for example, create a lottery in which to participate have to enter your details, or we can simply solicitousness when you purchase our products or services.

Identify needs, tastes or preferences

We must always seek to identify needs, tastes, preferences, habits or customs of our individual customers.

This will enable us to offer a personalized, for example, offering a product specially designed according to the tastes or preferences of a particular customer.

To detect the tastes or preferences of our clients, we monitor and analyze them, for example, what products they use most are, what their habits, what their buying preferences, etc.

Be attentive to competition

Just as we must be ever vigilant to our market or target audience, we must be ever vigilant to our competition.

We must be attentive to the strategies or actions you perform as well as the emergence of new competitors.

This information will allow us to react quickly, for example, designing strategies that allow us to meet his, or making decisions that allow us to counteract or take advantage of their actions.

Use testimonials

Whenever possible we should not look for testimonials from satisfied customers and then use those accounts as an introduction to other potential customers.

The bigger the testimonies and the more known are the clients that we do, we will cause better impression.

We may publish the testimonies, for example, in our brochures or website, or we can simply mention to potential customers, major customers we have served and the services we have provided them.

Find referrals

Whenever possible we should seek referrals , ie ensure that our customers recommend us and help get other clients.

One way to achieve this is to give our customers discount coupons that give them away to their acquaintances, and offering a product for free whenever it is used three of their coupons.

We should always devise strategies that allow us to get referrals, however, we must remember that the best way to achieve that we recommend, is offering a product or service quality.

IS YOUR COSMETIC PRODUCT REALLY A DRUG?

In June alone, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) refused the importation of over 200 different shipments of Cosmetics from 22 different countries.The two main reasons the FDA cited in refusing entry of cosmetic products were:

  1. The products were “misbranded” (lack of adequate directions for use, nutrient content and/or health claims, anti-ageing labeling claims rendering the product a drug; or
  2. The products were “adulterated” (unsafe addition of a color additive).

Definition of a Cosmetic vs. Drug

Misbranding may come down to whether the FDA believes the product is a drug (which is often based on the products intended use, and labeling claims). It is therefore important to know the difference in the way FDA defines cosmetics and drug products, to ensure you label your products correctly.

A product designed for “cleansing beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance,” is generally defined as a cosmetic by the FDA.

A drug on the other hand, is as a product “intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease,” or “intended to affect the structure or any function of the body.”

Why Cosmetic Products will be Refused by the FDA

One prevalent reason the FDA refuses cosmetic products is because of the claims cosmetic products makes rendering the product a “drug”. A health claim is one example of a type of claim, specifically it is a claim that the product affects the structure and or function of the human body. If your product makes a health claim it may be rendered and regulated as a drug by the FDA.

In response to the increase use of “health claims” on cosmetic products, the FDA re-published an import alert for skin care products labeled as anti-aging. These products claimed to reverse the effects of aging by controlling or preventing the aging process, which is a claim that the product affects the structure and functions of the human body, and were thus regulated a drug product by the FDA.

The FDA issued a consumer update this March highlighting the difference between a drug and a cosmetic product. The purpose of this publication was to inform consumers about cosmetic products that promise too much. In order to protect consumers from this type of cosmetic misbranding, the FDA has told companies to remove drugs claims or seek FDA approval to market these products as drugs (this is a timely and very expensive process). However, the FDA further admits that there is “no one-size-fits all answer” to whether a claim is a drug claim or cosmetic claim.

Form 766

If your product is on hold by the FDA because it is misbranded, there are affirmative actions you can take. Section 801(b) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act states that an importer of record may submit to the FDA a written application (using FDA’s Form 766) requesting permission to “recondition” your product. This post-compliance action, if approved by the FDA, will allow your product to be released. As approval is discretionary by the FDA, it is important you take the right steps and hire the right expert to assist you in this process.

FTC

In addition to regulation by the FDA, cosmetic companies are also subject to regulation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).  The FTC issues administrative complaints when companies engage in unfair methods of competition or unfair and deceptive acts, such as deceptive advertising. The FTC has issued complaints following FDA warning letters to cosmetic companies.

You may recall cosmetics company L’Oréal USA, Inc. receiving a FTC complaint alleging deceptive advertising of its products Lancôme Génifique and L’Oréal Paris Youth Code. The FTC has accepted, subject to final approval, an agreement containing a consent order (proposed order) from L’Oréal. According to the complaint, L’Oréal violated Sections 5(a) and 12 of the Federal Trade Commission Act because they claimed that its Génifique products were “clinically proven” to “boost genes’ activity and stimulate the production of youth proteins that would cause “visibly younger skin in just 7 days,” and would make you look as if you “slept 2 extra hours.” Similarly, L’Oréal claimed that its Youth Code products were the “new era of skincare: gene science,” and that consumers could “crack the code to younger acting skin.” L’Oréal made these claims via print, radio, television, internet and social media outlets. (It is important to note, both FDA and FTC regulate not only the product, but, also all ancillary advertisements, including websites). The FTC’s complaint followed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) warning to L’Oreal about language used in their advertisements that made the products sound more like drugs than cosmetics.

How Becker & Poliakoff Can Help

Although the FDA has issued import alerts, consumer updates, and labeling guides for cosmetics, there is still no bright line between cosmetic type claims and drug claims. Unfortunately, if the FDA finds your cosmetic product on the wrong side of that line, your product may be detained and later potentially refused by the FDA. The solution is to ensure you use “pre-compliance”, by having all products, ingredients, claims and ancillary marketing reviewed by an expert PRIOR to importation.

Protect Your Computer from Spam and Viruses

Keeping your computer running smoothly can be a pain for the inexperienced. From computer viruses to spam emails, there are a lot of factors to consider when you surf the web or browse emails. Likewise, it can be frustrating to figure out which programmes help and which applications actually slow down your computer. Many programmes claim to be beneficial, but in reality simply slow down your computer’s CPU and take up space on your hard drive. Furthermore, it can sometimes seem like spammers and junk mailers find you despite your best efforts to remain anonymous on the web. Don’t worry though. With the right resources and knowledge, you can block spam and keep all your online accounts safe.

First of all, it’s important to differentiate between good protection software and programmes that are more detrimental to your system. There are countless companies and programmes out there, trying to get you to click on their ads or promotions, but you should never be so hasty. If you see online ads, especially with flash animations, you should be sceptical. Don’t simply click on any advertisement you come across; instead read reputable tech websites and cross-reference product reviews to get the real scoop on anti-spam software. Likewise, take a trip down to your local computer repair store and ask them their thoughts on installing specific programmes on your system. Always seek the advice of professionals before you use any suspicious software.

Obviously, some spam-blockers are great resources; you just need to decide which ones are worth your time. Certain spam-blockers and virus protection programmes are offered online for free, but you should be wary of any free virus software. On the other hand, if a programme offers you a trial period, such as Mailcleaner’s antispam blocker software, you can be sure that this is a more legitimate option. After all, if you are good at something, you should never do it for free! Be on the lookout for allegedly free spam-blocking software and instead opt for programmes that offer a free trial period or cost a nominal fee. Likewise, always read customer reviews for the app from third party and unbiased websites.

Don’t forget, there are steps you can take to reduce spam on your account as well. For example, never put your email address on forums, blogs or other open sites that make your information available to anyone. Moreover, don’t sign up for email lists or promotions arbitrarily. Many of those sites can take your information and share it with other business, all of which can flood your email inbox. It might seem like there is a lot to remember when choosing a quality anti-virus and spam-blocking software, but with the right tools and knowledge, you will make a smart and informed decision.

Minneapolis Attorney Makes it 10 Years as a Super Lawyers Selectee

Attorney Charles “Bucky” Zimmerman has never shied away from taking on major cases. So far he has represented a range of clients from famed athletes George Foreman and Jim Brown, to clients in classes action lawsuits against major corporations such as Medtronic, Zicam, Target, and the NFL to name a few. Zimmerman and the firm he founded – Zimmerman Reed – has a proven track record having settled multiple $100 million and above cases.

Of Zimmerman’s many accomplishments throughout his career, he sees his victory against the tobacco industry as one that particularly stands out. In this case Zimmerman worked as part of the Castano group – a group of elite law firms that filed a class action lawsuit against the tobacco industry. This led to a historic settlement of more than $360 billion in June 1997.

Currently Zimmerman is currently involved in representing former players in the NCAA and NHL who have suffered the consequences of concussions while playing their respective sports. Already he has settled a case with the NFL for $765 million involving 4,500 former NFL players who have had concussions. These cases aim to help players who are at greater risk of brain related diseases such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other brain related disorders.

Over the past ten years Zimmerman has seen some changes in how law is practiced. “It’s transformed from a profession where professional courtesies were a matter of course to a business where business decisions begin to drive people’s behavior” says Zimmerman. He only seems to be adding on to his list of accomplishments though. With the release of the Minnesota Super Lawyers Magazine, Zimmerman can tack on his tenth selection to a Super Lawyers list. “It’s very nice being recognized for your work professionally and being put into a group with other lawyers who have been similarly recognized.”

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