26 February 2014 10:32
It can be difficult to do all your favorite outdoor activities like hiking, biking, running or riding on horseback if you suffer from allergies. The great outdoors can instead become the hacking, coughing land of watery eyes, sneezing and misery.
But there are steps you can take to reduce your allergy symptoms and get in on the fun.
Monitor the pollen count. Some days are worse than others when it comes to allergy triggers such as pollen. Keep an eye on pollen counts. Save outdoor jaunts for days when the counts are low and exercise indoors when they're not, according to Prevention Magazine.
Watch what you wear. Synthetic fibers can actually attract more pollen. Switch to natural fibers, and you'll cut down on exposure, says ABC news.
Pop an antihistamine. Take your allergy medication before you head outside to cut down on symptoms.
Choose wisely. During peak allergy season you might want to trade that woodsy hike for a few games on a tennis court where you'll have less contact with allergens, says Prevention.
Your Valley Yellow Pages Community Guide can help you find the right activity for you. Check out the outdoor activity listings.
21 February 2014 12:57
Behind every lush, beautiful garden, there's a tired gardener toiling in the dirt. Looking for a better option? Create a low-maintenance garden. Below are some tips to get your garden growing without breaking your back or the bank.
Consider Container Gardening
Many flowers and veggies grow well in containers provided they get the right amount of sunlight. Tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers need full sun to thrive, according to the University of Illinois Extension. Don't have full sun? Vegetables such as lettuce, spinach and herbs are good choices. If you're looking for a flower garden, you can also use containers or even a pretty flower box.
Pick the Right Plants
If you're going to plant beds in your yard, the key is to choose plants that don't require a lot of maintenance. Choose plants that spread too quickly, such as bee balm, and you'll spend your summer chasing it around your yard. Instead opt for a pretty shrub such as azalea or heather.
The online, mobile and print versions of the Valley Yellow Pages can get your low-maintenance garden started by directing you to qualified landscapers in your area. They'll turn your lush garden ideas into reality!
17 February 2014 06:57
You may have a great product and great customer service, but it won't do much good if customers don't know you're out there. In order to be successful, your business needs to be "findable," which means that customers know how to find you and see you before they find your competitors.
Not sure how you're doing? A free online tool available at www.howfindableareyou.com rates your findability to get you started.
According the marketing solutions company Dex One, here are five key things you should be doing to make your business more findable:
1. Advertise. Know your customers and what they want. Deliver a targeted message to them.
2. Develop an online presence. Today, approximately 70 percent of customers start searching for products online.
3. Maintain a good reputation in your community. Get out there and interact with your neighbors.
4. Define a recognizable brand that tells customers who you are. Keep your message consistent and repeat it on a regular basis.
5. Establish a physical location. Be certain that customers see visual reminders of your business on signs, company vehicles or even the storefront itself.
Ultimately, if you make your business more findable, it will attract more customers, and boost your chances of financial success.