Too many good ideas, not enough resources

One of the biggest challenges facing business leaders today is sifting through all the potential projects that cross their desks and deciding which initiatives are worth pursuing and which aren’t.

Recently, I got a wild hair and decided I wanted to build a boat. I’ve searched the Internet for the last several weeks looking for the right “project.” I found a builder in Maine who’s website convinced me that I wanted to buy the plans to build one of his boats. I measured my garage to see how much space I had to work with and narrowed my choice down to two styles.

Late last night I wrote him, explained my level of experience, and asked him if he had any advice. His reply came early this morning. He described the characteristics of each boat, including building and sailing, and asked me questions about what I wanted to accomplish with my boat. What was I looking for in the building process as well as what I wanted in sailing the boat later?

Basically, he presented the business case for each boat including:

1. My goal for building and sailing

2. The unique characteristics of each boat

3. The costs associated with building each boat

Business leaders today often face the challenge of too many good ideas and not enough resources to act on them all. Sometimes difficult choices need to be made by organizations doing project based work. Work management tools should facilitate the evaluation of potential projects to help make those decisions based upon something more than whether or not a project is a good project. In today’s economy the decision must be based upon whether or not the project is the best project, or will provide the most value. And doing that requires decisions based upon predetermined metrics that include:

1. Alignment to strategy and vision

2. An understanding of the potential risks along with any risk mitigation plans

3. The rewards of the potential project

4. The costs, including the opportunity cost of not doing a project

5. The resource requirements

How does your organization evaluate potential projects for execution? Does your project management software help facilitate those decisions?

By: Ty Kiisel

Can internet marketing be a long term business?

Here is the honest truth: most people get into Internet Marketing because they are convinced it is an easy way to earn quick money. Their approach is to make a fast website, put up some advertising and a few affiliate links, then sit back and watch while they earn real cash. There are a large amount of individuals who do this and also earn lots of money on the internet. But what if you want more than some extra or even quick cash? Can Internet Marketing really be leveraged to produce a worthwhile and long term career?

The quick and dirty answer is that yes, you are able to make Internet Marketing your long term and sustainable career. You only need to take on the project properly. The procedures and programs you use to build something to earn fast money are not all that different than the methods and systems you will use to build long term profits. So what would you do if you need to develop a sustainable career on the internet?

It is very important that the first thing you do, in order to earn long term money online, is accept the fact that you are going to have to do real work. You will have to do actual and real work on a daily basis. You will have days when you feel fantastic about what you do and days when you wish you could find something else to take on. This means it’s just about like every other occupation out there. If you want to produce lasting cash flow by working a lot right now and not at all later on then you are going to be in for a rude awakening. So be ready to roll up your sleeves and get to work.

There are a few ventures that lend themselves much better to a long term career than others. Affiliate marketing, to use one example, is a great job for someone who wants to earn money on a part time basis or to supplement your already existent income. Is it truly possible to earn a full time income in this manner? You could if you pick out only the right products and then work like crazy to promote them. A far better approach, nevertheless, is to create your own products or websites and then promote those. This gives you full control over the projects you take on and how you accomplish them. And you will end up more likely to stick with it in the long run. If you want to give a service on the web, this works much the same way. Writers, for example, need to create websites for themselves and create portfolios that they can point to as examples of their work.

Finally, perhaps the most significant thing that you need to recognize is that, when you want to build a long term and reliable income on the internet, you need to truly dedicate yourself to your task. You might have fun and feel rewarded by your efforts, but first you should tell yourself “yes, I really want to do this.” Making a half-hearted effort is not about to get you anywhere.

by: Tanaka Ara

Article Source:

What you need to know about composite decking

DeckHave you ever considered composite decking but disregarded the idea because you felt like you didn’t know enough about it? Maybe you’ve wondered how composite decking is made? Or what kinds of materials make up composite decking?

Although composite decking is not new, lack of familiarity with the product may lead you to be confused when making a decision about what you should choose for your deck. To make this decision-making process easier, it often helps to go back to the basics.

So what is composite decking anyway? By definition, composite decking is a wood-like product that is created by the mixture of wood fibers, or sawdust, and virgin and recycled plastics. The combination of these elements along with color pigments and other protective additives, form a traditional wood-like decking profile that requires less maintenance than traditional wood decks.

Many composite decking products are manufactured through a process called extrusion. This is defined as a forming process in which melted plastic and wood materials are forced through an opening to produce a product that maintains a relatively consistent size and shape. Think of it like putty that is being pushed through a mold. The opening gives the board the shape and texture.

Another manufacturing method is compression molding. Combined molten materials for the composite wood are placed on to wood grain molds which are then compressed under tremendous heat and pressure to create a physical bond. The force applied helps to squeeze out air pockets and create a compressed board.

For outdoor living, composite decking provides many added benefits including weather resistance, complementary colors, durability and reduced maintenance.

* Weather resistance: The density of a composite decking board helps protect the board from rot and decay caused by prolonged exposure to moisture. By keeping moisture out, this helps reduce mildew, insects and bacteria.

* Complementary colors: The composite boards are also manufactured in a range of colors to perfectly complement any home. Instead of needing stain or paint, the colors are already added to the boards.

* Durability: Composite decking boards are manufactured to be stain resistant against certain common food and beverage stains, including mustard, ketchup, barbecue sauce, canola oil, fruit punch, wines and coffee. This stain resistance will preserve the life and beauty of the deck.

* Maintenance: Composite decking does not require paint, stain or a sealer reducing the overall maintenance of the deck. The best way to maintain a composite deck is to keep it swept, hose it off at least twice a year and attend to stains promptly with household cleaners or commercially available composite deck cleaners.

Overall, composite decking is a low maintenance product that has become a desirable alternative for outdoor living. Some composite deck products, like TAMKO’s Envision, even add an extra layer of protection against weather, staining and scratching to preserve the natural beauty of the composite decking board.

TAMKO’s Envision is uniquely designed with an added outer layer that is physically bonded to the core board under a compression process. This bonded outer layer adds durability to the core materials that provide the strength and consistency of the board. Envision also comes in four true, multi-shaded color options, designed with color highlights that emulate the textures and natural color variations of real wood to further enhance the natural beauty of the deck. To learn more about TAMKO’s Envision, visit

Knowing more about the choices available helps you make a more informed decision about the product that is best for you. Composite decking shouldn’t be something you avoid because you don’t know anything about it. Composite decking has come a long way since it was first introduced and can provide you with the beauty and satisfaction you look for in a deck for years to come. You don’t want to miss out.

Courtesy of BPT

Affordable decorating tips to take your home from ho-hum to high style

Affordable%20decorating%20tipsFeeling uninspired in your space? Updating the decor in your home is an easy way to add more color, style and personality to rejuvenate your residence. Whether you’re making a few updates, like new artwork or wall colors, or renovating an entire room with a completely new look, decorating should be fun, not stressful. With a few simple tips, you can up the design ante in your home without breaking the bank.
Decorative painting for design
Painting can consist of much more than simple strokes of one color. Take things to the next level with decorative painting. Create different patterns on your walls with textured rollers to achieve an artistic design. Sponge and fabric paint rollers provide unique patterns to give your walls a one-of-a-kind look. Low in price and high in design, using textured rollers is a great option for redecorating on a budget.
Painting stripes in your room is a refreshing way to update your current color scheme. A sequence of wide and narrow stripes in complementing colors is a stylish option. To achieve crisp, clean lines between each stripe, painter’s tape will get the job done. It will also help to prevent paint bleed, leaving precise lines and keeping the transition between your colors looking sharp.
A plethora of plates
Artwork is a great way to change things up and give any room a boost. Expensive traditional framed pieces of artwork aren’t your only option anymore. Instead, create an eclectic art piece with plates you already own, or find them at garage sales and antique stores. Opt for various sizes and shapes and attach each one to your wall with plate hooks. You can cover an entire wall, or focus on a smaller area – but before you get started, be sure to lay out your design on the floor first. This way, you’ll achieve your desired look, without extra nail holes on the wall from hanging as you go. 
Perk-up hallways with runners; rooms with rugs
While re-energizing your home, the hallways may seem a little drab. Add a pick-me-up to your walkway by hanging portraits with funky frames along the walls. Add a runner along the length of the floor for a touch of pizzazz. Runners come in a multitude of lengths, patterns and colors – not to mention price ranges. Updating the flooring will keep your feet cozy and help to diminish the sound of footsteps during the night. 
Affordable%20decorating%20tipsIf you have a space you want to update, but a full room makeover isn’t in your budget, consider an area rug to spruce things up. If the color in your room is dull, the rug can add visual interest and a pop of color, serving as an aesthetically pleasing addition. Area rugs also help to break up the space of a larger room and can add grandeur to a small space. A new rug will also protect your pre-existing carpet, vinyl and hardwood floors, keeping them looking newer, longer. 
Opt for accents as design elements
No home redecorating project is complete without a few perfectly placed accents. These interesting items stand out from your primary colors and furniture pieces, offering a fresh look to any space. Accent pieces – like chairs, frames or vases – will spice up a monotonous color scheme, while harmonizing with everything else you may already have in a room. Consider a bright beanbag chair for your child’s bedroom, a bold lawn chair on your patio to enthrall while entertaining or a lamp base in a complementary color on your console. Keep in mind accents are meant to speak for themselves; so there’s no need to have another elaborate piece in the room to pair with an accent piece. Just one affordable piece is all it takes.
When the redecorating bug bites, embrace the opportunity to freshen up your home inexpensively. With a pinch of creativity and a dash of design inspiration, you can easily make over any space into one that’s perfect for you.
Caption 1: Create different patterns on your walls with textured rollers to achieve an artistic design.
Caption 2: Painting stripes in your room is a refreshing way to update your current color scheme.

Courtesy of BPT

10 questions for the builder of your energy efficient home

(NC)-Do you want to know if your new home is energy-efficient? Here are some questions to ask your builder:

1. How do I know your homes are truly energy efficient?

2. Since all builders must meet the requirements of the building code, what makes your homes different from other builders’ homes?

3. How do your building techniques reflect the latest developments in housing technology?

4. What steps do you take to improve the energy efficiency of the homes you build?

5. Can you predict what my energy costs will be?

6. What makes your homes more environmentally friendly than others?

7. Do you participate in the Government’s  energy efficiency initiatives for new homes?

8. Do you affix a government-backed energy label to your home?

9. Do independent, licensed professionals inspect the energy efficiency of your homes?

10. Do you build homes that receive an EnerGuide rating of 83 or higher or its equivalent?

If you aren’t getting the answers you want, then you better think twice about your builder.

Courtesy of Newscanada

3 Bedroom Home in College Hills

Situated on a double lot just off Highland & Lee,
LSU convenience is a factor in this traditional ranch home with extras. There is so much room in this house! There is a formal living/dining combination, open kitchen with menu planning desk and abundance of cabinets, opening to the den with a peninsula island topped with classic glass-front cabinets. Off the den is a dream room — a large screened in porch overlooking the spacious tree laden backyard. Off the sunroom is a workshop area too. But that is the teaser workshop – there is a freestanding, brick garage front workshop at the rear of the lawn — just a mere 480 square feet of workspace for the handyman/hobbyist. Back inside are three nice sized bedrooms and two charming vintage baths. The tiled baths look like they've never been used and are so vintage fun! Close to LSU and downtown in an established area off
prestigious Highland Road. Don't forget to view the 1/2 bath off of the covered and screened porch area. Great for cleaning up after a crawfish boil, or that messy backyard project! Call or text 225.335.5395.

367 McDonald

Baton Rouge, LA 70808

4 Bedroom home in Lake Sherwood

Take your pick of master suites or save one for a mother-in-law suite! First plan your parties – this home is
meant for entertaining with open flow from spacious room to spacious room. First enjoy the large foyer opening onto the 21×13 dining room! Brick floors throughout the living areas, crown molding, 9 foot + ceilings, built-ins, vaulted beamed ceilings in den, cased windows, wet bar, large masonry fireplace, french doors open to sunroom/den overlooking covered pavilion in backyard for outdoor entertaining. The kitchen has gleaming granite countertops, double ovens, large island and breakfast/keeping area. Three bedrooms including master are along one wing, with the master suite enjoying it's own fireplace, garden tub, separate shower, and walk-in closet. Off the sunroom on the other side of the home is the mother-in-law bedroom with a newly remodeled bath complete with travertine surround for the shower, furniture style vanity, new lighting, fixtures, etc. Take your pick which room you want to call your home. The charm and style of this home is
typical Lake Sherwood, includes double rear load garage and guest parking. Fenced in backyard too. Pavilion has new ceiling fans and is ready for you make it your outdoor kitchen/den – just add your TV! Pre-inspected, freshly painted, ready for you to move in and enjoy the summer at the neighborhood pool or fishing in the lakes. A great community! Call or text 225.335.5395.

12438 Lake Sherwood Ave. S.

Baton Rouge, LA 70816

4 Bedroom Waterfront Home in Springfield

Enjoy the countryside and golf community lifestyle in
Carter Plantation, a David Toms Signature Golf Community in South Louisiana. This custom built home sits on a quiet cul-de-sac and offers unexpected quality features. First, there are dual master suites with separate entrances on opposite wings of the lower level of the home – all with 10 foot ceilings, crown molding, gleaming hardwood flooring. One suite offers sitting area, bedroom and lovely master bath with walk-in closet. On the opposite wing, the other master provides views of the private lake across the rear of the property, master bath with a contemporary flair, and walk-in closet as well. Off the grand foyer, to the left is a gentleman's study behind french doors while the formal dining area is to the right, connected to the kitchen via a butler's pantry with wine cooler, slab granite, and glass china cabinetry. The kitchen overlooks the private pond, with a massive center island for cooking and casual dining, stainless appliances, travertine backsplash, large pantry and keeping room. A corner fireplace framed in granite anchors one corner of the living room, which is accented by the iron staircase leading to the second floor. Upstairs is a large gameroom (16×31!!) for the kids. Two full size bedrooms complete the upstairs joined by a hollywood bath. The gameroom was designed such that if you need another bedroom, a wall can easily be added. They thought of everything! Triple garage, iron fencing, gas lanterns, brick and iron courtyard styled entry, vinyl clad wood windows & more add up to a house built with character, charm and quality.
Carter Plantation is a unique golf community: provides golfing, access to Blood River & launch, neighborhood pool and tennis courts, clubhouse, guest accommodations, nighttime security guard, privately owned sewer, water, & generator and Carter Plantation House. Come home to the quiet countryside while enjoying an exclusive golf community lifestyle. Call or text 225.335.5395.

30764 Wild Iris Way

Springfield, LA 70462

Just Listed & BR Home Inventory Shifts

Inventory Dips — Market Shifts from Buyer's Market to Seller's Market —

for today



A seller's ability to sell a home is determined by the supply of homes for sale and the demand for that housing.  
Basic supply and demand.  In real estate, that is represented by the current month's supply of homes for sale.  This supply value is calculated by taking the number of homes for sale divided by the number of homes sold in the previous month.  


    Since the first of the year, the Baton Rouge area market has seen a significant increase in sold homes.  Beginning the year, we had an

8 month supply

of homes on the market – which represents a buyer's market wherein there are more properties on the market than active buyers.   Since January, we have seen our inventory decline to less than a 

5.5 month supply

, thus shifting our

market of the moment

from a buyers market to a

seller's market

— for the first time since 2008!  In Ascension:  3.28 month supply;   In Livingston:  4.5 month supply.   And the average sales price has increased since January. 


Sales and Inventory Report    

Statistics for Entire MLS from 4/1/2012 – 3/31/2013

Month Year Monthly


Avg List $ Avg Sale $ Median Sold $ Avg DOM Avg CDOM % Sold/List Current


April 2012 350 $68,640,682 $202,368 $196,116 $160,700 100 145 96.91% 2557 7.30
May 2012 439 $89,577,478 $212,162 $204,048 $170,000 94 119 96.17% 2629 5.98
June 2012 439 $87,556,335 $206,452 $199,444 $174,706 85 106 96.60% 2633 5.99
July 2012 412 $82,019,001 $204,329 $199,075 $175,000 89 118 97.42% 2639 6.40
August 2012 352 $72,363,280 $212,870 $205,577 $175,000 99 121 96.57% 2673 7.59
September 2012 344 $75,912,335 $227,900 $220,675 $178,500 104 132 96.82% 2633 7.65
October 2012 366 $73,255,903 $207,040 $200,152 $172,500 94 110 96.67% 2548 6.96
November 2012 346 $72,352,023 $218,037 $209,109 $172,500 96 114 95.90% 2520 7.28
December 2012 299 $60,678,174 $210,379 $202,937 $167,000 86 110 96.46% 2385 7.97
January 2013 264 $48,920,857 $192,060 $185,306 $165,460 107 134 96.48% 2253 8.53
February 2013 285 $60,325,935 $219,485 $211,669 $170,000 109 128 96.43% 2310 8.10
March 2013 422 $88,216,984 $216,397 $209,044 $173,250 91 123 96.60% 2307 5.46
Annual: 4318 $879,818,987 $210,933 $203,756 $172,172 96 121 96.59% 2507 6.96


This creates a great opportunity for sellers.  If you are considering selling your home in the next few months, NOW is the time to contact us.  We offer a comprehensive strategy for

properly pricing, preparing and promoting

your home.  The owners of the lovely homes below took

several weeks
to prepare their homes for the market — see for yourself how good they look!   In any market, condition must match price, and homes that are properly prepared and priced sell FIRST. 

Let's get started on preparing you for the market!




Off Highland Rd. Right Outside LSU


Spacious Home in Lake Sherwood



367 McDonald 12438 Lake Sherwood Ave. S.
Stunning Home in Carter Plantation

in Springfield



30764 Wild Iris Way



Gated Community in


From $675,000 Now $650,000
Off Highland Rd in

Estates at Myrtle Hill

From $1,200,000 Now $1,100,000

4431 Poplar 9631 Myrtle Ln.


How to make business productivity blossom this spring

How%20to%20make%20business%20productivity%20blossom%20this%20spring Every year, we tackle spring cleaning at home. Why not do the same at work? 
Most of us grapple with overflowing email inboxes, PC desktops stuffed with random files and servers brimming with old data. 
Digital clutter can be particularly challenging in small and midsize businesses because people are often juggling different roles. If you are the CEO, marketing director and customer service representative, it’s difficult to find time.
A cloud service can help get everything in order with online tools to manage email, documents, contacts and multiple calendars – all with almost unlimited storage. Several cloud services also have productivity apps, websites and collaboration tools to improve employee and customer communications. 
The cloud can also help people work better as a virtual team. Jennifer Cattaui, owner of the children’s clothing and furniture store Babesta, recently moved her small company to the cloud to give it the flexibility needed to expand roles and responsibilities for employees as the business continues to grow. 
“We chose the Microsoft Office 365 cloud service because we want professional productivity tools at a reasonable price, and we need to keep using the applications our employees trust and are familiar with, including Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft SharePoint,” says Cattaui. “It is sophisticated business productivity software that you’d expect to see in a large corporate setting, but made available for small businesses like mine as a subscription service.” 
Babesta retail associates can now access files and projects practically anywhere, anytime and on virtually any device. While some employees manage the company’s online store and work from home, other employees such as the retail designers move between stores during the day. The cloud helps everyone accomplish more and stay in touch. 
“We use a security-enhanced, password-protected portal to share large files inside and outside Babesta, which is great because that means we have a single location where people can work together on important documents,” Cattaui says. “That’s a big benefit, because there’s no more clutter and time wasted trying to figure out who has the latest reports on outstanding orders, store events and customer deliveries, and where all that stuff is stored.”
Office 365 also gives Babesta employees a virtual living room to visit when they log on to the company’s Microsoft SharePoint Online workspace. The space is filled with product and industry information, delivery calendars, staff calendars, staff kudos, and links to important blogs, Facebook and Twitter feeds. 
“I no longer have to worry about the burden of maintaining my server and business systems,” Cattaui says. “Our employees work better together, business is growing and we’re able to spend more time with our customers – all the result of taking our business to the cloud.”

Courtesy of BPT