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Monday, May 13, 2013

Grow Your Business and Your Relationships

Mike Sneiderman
Business Owners See Signs of Economic Growth

From increases in consumer spending to an increase in RV purchases (yes, it’s an economic indicator: click here to read more), many signs point to an economic upswing. But what about the experiences of individual business owners? According to Dan Varner and Mike Sneiderman, they are seeing their own signs the economy is rebounding.

Dan Varner, owner of Varner Claims Consulting, LLC, has seen an increase in employment in the industries he commonly works with, including the trucking, manufacturing and home and commercial construction industries (to learn more, visit their YouTube Playlist by clicking here).

“The economy is rebounding, and more shipments of goods leads to increased freight demands,” Varner says. “With the aging workforce and stricter workplace guidelines, I’m seeing the upper level of the workforce retiring, and companies hiring new workers.”

With exponentially more workers, another percentage comes up: the number of injured workers, which means a higher volume of insurance claims. Helping companies with injured workers create return-to-work solutions is Varner’s specialty. After more than 30 years experience working in claims insurance, Varner has taken this knowledge to help businesses achieve cost savings while placing injured workers in light/transitional-duty programs that keep them working during their medical recovery.

A Proactive Mindset

Because the risk for injured workers rises proportionally with an increased amount of workers hired, Varner encourages companies to take a proactive versus reactive approach.

“A proactive approach means business owners having a light duty program in place,” Varner says. “We can assist business owners in controlling claims costs and the injured worker is happy because he or she is making more money remaining at light/transitional positions compared to staying home collecting benefits.”

One of the reasons employers may not take the cost-saving approach to return-to-work solutions is simply a lack of knowledge in what is often a complicated insurance matter and manpower to support the program. Varner uses his considerable nationwide industry connections to make a light/transitional duty program easy to execute for a business owners.

Even during a tough economy, Varner has been able to carve out a niche and grow his business. He attributes his success to multiple factors that appeal to companies: flat-rate fees, a 100 percent placement rate for injured workers, an electronic time tracking program and perhaps most importantly, ease of accessibility to Varner himself.

“My company and employees react instantly to requests,” Varner says. “A company doesn’t have to go through hoops and five or eight people to reach me, which can make all the difference when a company needs immediate placement for an injured worker.”

Business Refresh

Mike Sneiderman, co-owner of SIGNARAMA USA, BOCA/DELRAY sees economic indicators of his own via his sign business that creates outdoor and indoor signs, banners, graphics, letters and displays. Sneiderman says more and more new businesses are coming in to work with the SIGNARAMA team to create distinctive signs that build brand recognition and attract customers.

“You can have the greatest products, but customers must be able to first find you,” Sneiderman says. “The right signage is welcoming and sets the tone for the new business.”

The SIGNARAMA team, which include Mike’s co-owner son Dave, uses its award-winning approach to help new businesses craft the message they want to send to customers via custom, eye-grabbing signs.

Another economic indicator Sneiderman is seeing more customers with existing businesses coming in for new signs, displays and banners.

“When the economy was at its lower points, updating signage and interiors was often a point that got overlooked,” Sneiderman says. “But now businesses are seeing its overall value in retaining and attracting new customers. Neglecting the appearance of your business can send the message you may neglect other aspects of the business transaction as well.”

Much like Varner, Sneiderman advises a proactive approach when it comes to maintaining business success. By regularly replacing faded, poorly lit or outdated signage, businesses appear more successful and inviting.

“First impressions are everything,” Sneiderman says. “My company will work tirelessly with a business to ensure a first impression is a strong one.”

Learn more about Varner Claims Consulting, LLC, visit, call (312) 450-3259 or e-mail Varner at You can also follow him on Twitter at @VarnerClaims.

Learn more about SIGNARAMA USA, BOCA/DELRAY, visit or call (561) 278-7446. You can also follow the business on Twitter at @SignaramaBocaDB or visit the welcoming sign professionals in person at SIGNARAMA located at 2905 S. Congress Avenue, Suite E in Delray Beach.

Maesk Group Offers Weekend Couples Seminars

Communication, togetherness and awareness -- these are some of the hallmarks of a healthy relationship. If you feel yours could improve in one or several of these categories, Doug Maesk, M.A., Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC), is offering weekend seminars for couples throughout the month of June.

Doug Maesk

“These seminars will be ideal for couples considering marriage or those who have been together for a while but are struggling,” says Maesk, a Fort Lauderdale-based counselor with more than 10 years experience. “These seminars will focus on fostering intimacy, removing barriers to healthy communication and increasing awareness of each partner’s role in the relationship.”

Maesk offers a unique approach to counseling and is trained in Gestalt Therapy, a therapy form that takes an integrated approach to healing.

“I feel I meet people where they are,” Maesk says. “If a patient is interested in more of a feelings approach, I will go there with them. If they want a more cognitive, intellectual approach, I will go there with them. In other words, my work is very person-centered.”

Maesk specializes in the treatment of anxiety, depression, substance abuse, adolescent psychology and couples counseling. He emphasizes that entering counseling is not a lifetime commitment. He often works with many clients over a three- to six-month time frame, helping them to ease worries and feel happier, two feelings they may have previously thought impossible.

‘What I want people to know is that I have helped thousands of people over the years to lead happier, more productive lives,” Maesk says.

Want to know more about Maesk’s services and weekend seminars, call (954) 353-4680 or e-mail Maesk’s offices are located at 2821 E. Commercial Blvd., Suite 210, in Fort Lauderdale.

April Dorsey of The D-Tales 
Shares Sassy Tips for Service Business Owners

April Dorsey of The D-Tales

With wedding season fast-approaching, April Dorsey, the wedding planner extraordinaire of The D-Tales, is working hard with brides and vendors to create picture-perfect and crazy-fun wedding events. April’s schedule is so busy because she knows her stuff when it comes to attracting clients—and here are some of her tips for how she does it:

You’ve Got to Go Mobile
The D-Tales offers a kick-a website, plus a mobile-optimized site. According to April, 67 percent of mobiles users say that when they visit a mobile-friendly site, they’re more likely to buy a site’s product or service. Personally, April says she has seen an increase in web traffic by 25 percent, especially from Apple products such as the iPhone and iPad.

Make Space for Reviews and Referrals
Customer reviews and referrals are a major revenue source for April.

“Brides want to hire someone who they have been referred to by a close friend,” April says.

Because April’s business is sometimes considered a “luxury” one, she says referrals provide a first-hand experience to explain why her business is needed to avoid issues and stress that can arise from planning a wedding. Another avenue similar to referrals is the “Reviews” section of her website. Opening her site to client reviews has resulted in an increase of visitors to the site by 25 percent.

Carve Out a Unique Space for Yourself
April’s mission is not to provide wedding planning services as usual for her brides. She’s a think-outside-the-box wedding planner that specializes in sassy brides with unique visions for their big days. Rock-and-roll-themed weddings? She’s planned those. Ethnic weddings? She’s planned those too. And she knows that each bride needs a varying level of guidance in advance of her big day. That’s why April created an expanded menu of services categorized by time, such as “Brainstorming Session,” “Month of Help,” “Help Me Finish” and “I Want It All.” April’s seen her revenue increase by 25 percent in four months after increasing her offerings.

For more information on The D-Tales, visit, call (407) 687-6552 or e-mail April at