Monthly Archives: April 2020

Marketing Ideas to Survive a Downturn

One of the challenges of a financial recession is handling the stress that comes from it. The key to managing stress is to know how to market your product or service to different demographics. There are lots of types of people out there. Appealing to them is the key to surmounting your financial challenges. Understanding how people process information and using that in marketing is called psychographics. Psychographics is an advanced field of study. It involves categorizing people based on how their brain software operates. If you are a Mac, and your client is a PC, you are going to have some communication breakdowns. Understanding the other person’s operating system is quite valuable. We will go through the four main brain categories to show how you can cater a marketing campaign to them.

Marketing to Protectors

The protector brain is practical and focused on tradition. They love ads that appeal to family and the past. If you pay homage to patriotism, you have won a protector’s heart. In the Myers-Briggs psychological type system, the protector’s brain is that of the ISTJ, ISFJ, ESTJ, and ESFJ. Protectors like to keep their finances in order. Do not expect wishful thinking from them. They tend to have a smart plan in place for how to advance their family’s interests. Developing a marketing campaign should focus on the details of quality and value in the product or service to the wallet of the protector.

Marketing to Rationalists

The rationalist’s brain is a hard one to market to. That is because they see through most advertising as corny and shallow. The rationalist is focused on the cold logic of the purchase. They want to see if it lives up to its claims. Appealing to science, innovation, and technology is one way to win over the rationalist. Market fads are not going to go over as easily. The rationalist’s brain corresponds to the Myers-Briggs psychological types of ENTJ, INTJ, ENTP, and INTP.

Marketing to Empathizers

Empathizers are another hard brain to market to. They like to focus on health and spiritual well being. Placing products that are organic and vegetarian on the menu is a must to attract empathizers. Physical fitness is another important value to them. Having an appeal to wellness in advertising can be useful. The empathizer brain corresponds to the Myers-Briggs types of ENFP, INFP, ENFJ, and INFJ.


Experiencers are easy to market to. They respond well to visual cues and love bold flavors. They are impulsive and like to make credit purchases. Appeals to speed and pop culture are helpful with the experiencer. Beware of portraying something as old-fashioned. The experiencer wants something that is up to date and ready to roll. Experiencer brains are the ESFP, ISFP, ESTP, and ISTP types.


Understanding psychographics gives you a powerful market advantage over competitors. It allows you to make decisions that corner the market and appeal to everybody. Use it by keeping in mind that protectors and experiencers are in the majority of the population. A good way to learn more about psychographics is to do online research on psychological types.

Improving your company’s travel management

Even seasoned frequent corporate travelers are always looking for ways to make business travel easier and more efficient. You will hopefully find some of the tips that have been shared by others to be helpful, productive, and interesting.

You can read about a large number of suggested travel tips that are geared mostly toward business travel that could also be of help for any of your personal trips. Following are some of the best ones:

* Whenever possible, schedule your departures for the first ones going out. That should mean far fewer delays, give you a possible chance for an upgrade, and more assurances that you will arrive in plenty of time for your scheduled meetings.

* Show your loyalty to the businesses you deal with and make use of frequent flyer programs and a travel-focused rewards credit card. Those will give you more of an elite status and will mean amazing benefits as well as upgrades and perks at airlines and hotels. Keeping your expenses limited to using only one or two credit cards also helps tremendously in organizing your expenditures.

* When booking your hotel, assure a better night’s sleep by asking to be away from ice machines, elevators, and any other places that would create noise and too much activity.

* Carry a minimum of 100 USD cash in the local currency if going to another country in anticipation of times when a credit card will not be an option and you need an easy and quick way of paying for something.

* Carry a photocopy of your passport and protect the original and other valuables by locking them in the hotel safe. Take pictures on your phone of your travel itinerary and license.

Ideas on Clothes and Packing

* Check the weather forecast at your destination for the days of your trip so that you can pack the correct clothes.

* Limit your wardrobe to two or three basic colors such as grey, black, and beige that you can vary and interchange to create different outfits. Pack less than think you will need, and you’ll probably not even require all of that. Pack as light as possible and create just carry-on luggage if at all possible.

* Pack only versatile pieces of clothing that will go with those basic colors and which can be layered both as needed for weather changes and for making that variety of outfits.

* Make the clothing as much iron-free as possible to cut down on expenses to get the pieces pressed. Pack dress shirts in the plastic dry cleaner bags, which will minimize wrinkles. When you arrive at your hotel room, that the shirts out of the bags, hang them in the shower, turn on the hot water, and that becomes a steam press!

* When you return home, re-pack the bag with as much as possible so that, before your next trip, all you’ll have to do is add your clothing and any other basics that you have had to use at home between travels.


Favorite tips from other savvy travelers should impart bits of wisdom that can be utilized by you and your business to make the trips more efficient and timely, minimize the expenses, and stick to the company’s budget. It is also always helpful to smooth out some of the rough edges that can sometimes prove to be exasperating and time-consuming. Enjoy your travel experiences!

Key Questions to Ask When Automating Liquid Handling

Today’s laboratories are embracing automated liquid handling to optimize efficiency and carry out ever more complex research. Automated liquid handling can increase reliability, reduce costs and decrease the chance of human error. Given the current COVID-19 situation, its importance has never been more than what it is now.

Automation is a significant investment and so it’s important that the solution you choose is able to meet your current workflow needs and be flexible enough to meet your future needs too. 

1. Is your current manual process robust?

Automating an assay that does not work well manually won’t fix it but if it already works well, automation will improve it. Before introducing automation, you need to fully understand your manual workflow. 

When you break the process down into individual steps, it will help you to decide what elements you can improve by integrating automation. Deciding on “must-have” components will depend on your applications and goals. 

2. Does any off-the-shelf solution meet your needs?

If a small, dedicated workstation meets your current needs, it could simplify your selection process. Some specialized workstations work well for specific applications with established protocols, such as sample preparation, cell culture or DNA extraction. 

If you choose an off-the-shelf option, make sure you avoid inflexible solutions. You want a core component that you can integrate into a larger system down the line. 

3. Is the system flexible and customizable?

Before making a decision, make sure your liquid handler has experience working with laboratories of all sizes and types and has the workflow optimization expertise to work with a variety of third-party manufacturers. 

Aurora Biomed offers an automated liquid handling system that is flexible and customizable. Its VERSA series ranges from affordable entry-level liquid handlers to high-throughput fully automated ones. 

4. How much space do you have and are you using it efficiently?

Most liquid handling systems are multi-user which means space needs to be used innovatively and there is more demand for flexibility. Some automation systems, such as a floor-standing liquid handler, allow you to access the storage units below the workstations. 

5. Is the system easy to learn and operate?

Researchers today expect a great deal from automated systems but they often come with a steep learning curve they may not have time to deal with. It is important to find a system that’s easy to learn and yet doesn’t limit the flexibility of the overall system. 

Make sure you see a software demonstration because poorly designed software can leave you dependent on a vendor or external specialist to troubleshoot problems and make even simple programming changes. 

6. Does the system have built-in safety features?

Automation helps to reduce human error, but no system is immune to the unexpected and this is where humans need to pitch in. A system should be able to protect against data loss if the workflow is interrupted and have features that help to ensure operator safety. 

Sample handling needs to be safe with no cross-contamination and the system should offer accuracy and precision for a range of compatible fluids. 

7. How easy is it to maintain and service?

Whatever solution you are considering, you need to find out about servicing and maintenance. Downtime is costly and ease of access by technicians means less disruption to workflow. Support experts need to have the technical and workflow knowledge specific to your chosen solution. 

8. Can it perform under changed circumstances? 

If you want to purchase an automated sample processing system, for example, you will need to consider factors such as whether the need to process samples overnight may increase in the future. In such a case, features may need to be added to the system to allow for extended, unattended operation. 

Collection Accounts and How to Get Rid of Them

A collection account features on your credit history when you have failed to pay one of your bills. The lender has some choices once you don’t make your scheduled payment. One of them is selling your account to a debt collector or collection agency. They then have the full right to pursue all lawful means to get the money you owe on the account.

The result is a collection account that pops up on your credit score. Future lenders will view this as a red flag and reconsider lending you money. A collection account indicates financial irresponsibility, regardless of the reason that it’s there.

A collection account can stay on your credit history for up to seven years. But all is not lost. Here are things you can do to mitigate the effects of a collection account:


It is possible that there’s been an error on the credit bureau’s side. When you find out about a collection letter, do some investigation. Keep records of all your transactions so that you can prove payment if necessary.

There are many fraudulent accounts set up in innocent victims’ names that ruin their credit score. The sooner you find out about such a crime, the sooner you can report it and have it removed from your credit score.

Rehabilitate your credit score

After you’ve got a collection account against your name, you might have a hard time finding someone to lend you money. However, you need to build credit fast to improve your credit score. Credit builder loans from can be the solution. These microloans can put your credit history back on track.

A credit builder loan is a small sum that you can apply for, and then it is paid into your savings account. Don’t be tempted to use it to pay off the problem debt. Leave it in your account and make the monthly payments. Afterward, the interest in the account is yours to spend.

Make arrangements

It’s not uncommon for people to run into financial difficulty and be unable to pay off their debts. But sticking your head in the sand like an ostrich so that you can pretend it isn’t happening is where the problem comes into play. Avoiding the lender will do nothing other than getting you a collection account on your credit history.

As soon as you know that you won’t be able to service your debt, go and see the lender. Lenders will accommodate you more than you might think. It’s as much in their best interests as it is in yours to arrange a way for you to pay off your debt. 

There are lots of options you and the lender can explore. These include a payment holiday, reduced payments, or an extended repayment period. If your account is handed over to a debt collector, negotiate with them as well. They might be agreeable to the options above as well.

Check on the collector

Some collectors can be rather unscrupulous and sail a bit close to the wind when it comes to the regulations that govern the industry. If you can prove it, this could work in your favor.

There have been numerous instances when collectors have tried to extend the length of time the collection account stays on your credit history. Some debt collectors transfer your collection account to another collector without informing the credit bureau. 

That means the name of the collector on your credit report isn’t the same as the one that is pursuing you for repayment. In either case, you can dispute this with the credit bureau, and the collection letter could be removed.

Can Company Politics Hinder Six Sigma?

The only way you’re never going to encounter company politics is if you become the sole proprietor and employee of your own company. Otherwise, every workplace you enter has a history of unhappiness, conflict, and criticism. Putting a group of people together and expecting them to work harmoniously is impossible.

However, you should never allow company politics to stop you from putting your Six Sigma goals into action. You’ll need to be prepared for interpersonal conflict, resistance to change, and some downright hostility. 

It might come from the people you lead or the people who lead you. These factors are not unique to Six Sigma, so you should never question whether it’s the system that is causing the problem.

Here are some of the main challenges you’ll face and how to overcome them.

Inflexible company policies

In many cases, the implementation of Six Sigma requires some changes to organizational goals, processes, and expectations. When you walk into a situation wanting to implement Six Sigma, you might be faced with resistance, not from the people you’re leading, but from the company structure.

It is essential that you have top management’s buy-in when you want to implement the Six Sigma approach. It might take some persuasive talk to get them to understand its merits, but once you do, you’ll have them on board. Then company policies will change, and employees will see top management setting the example.

Personal resistance

People are, by nature, change-averse. Very few respond to massive changes with overwhelming enthusiasm. Most react to new processes and situations with resistance. Those who’ve been at the company for a long time will complain that the system in place right now works, so why should it be changed? 

When their roles and responsibilities change to accommodate the application of Six Sigma, they’ll become even more difficult to persuade.

For many people, change equals loss, whether it’s a loss of power or control. This is something most people despise, and they will fight it with everything they’ve got. 

It is a selfish response, because they are, at that moment, only considering how the change will affect them. They cannot see any positives in the change and how it will benefit the organization and, ultimately, them as well.

As per Peter Peterka, president of, when you learn Global Six Sigma, you’ll see that while it has a lot to do with numbers, it also involves learning to draw people into the process to get them working toward a common goal. This is accomplished through the planning, communication, and transparency related to data, processes, and procedures.


As with any change, you’re going to encounter skeptics. These are the people who don’t understand Six Sigma or have heard about it but think it’s not going to work. They see it purely as a cost-cutting exercise, which will give them more responsibility without more money. Alternatively, they’ll see it as the new fad management is obsessed with, and that it won’t last long.

That jaded cynicism can be hard to break down, and sometimes the only way to prove your doubters right is to succeed when they’re rooting for you to fail. By implementing Six Sigma’s continuous process improvement procedures, they’ll soon start seeing the benefit and start embracing its principles.


Expect arguments and team meetings that feel more like a warzone than anything else. Embrace these situations, as they give you a chance to learn about your team and recognize how best you can use their strengths to your Six Sigma advantage. 

Even if they’re opposing what you’re saying, this conflict means that they’re getting involved. And that is the first step of getting team members to welcome the change.