Music Industry Sharks – How to Uncover the Unscrupulous Many in the Music Business

There are a ton of people out there claiming to be music marketing experts, music publicity experts, and social media experts. Yep – Literally thousands upon thousands. When it comes to marketing and publicizing your music you have a wide variety of good choices. RIGHT? Wrong – tons of choices – yes but how many of them are truly worth their salt? Not Many!

For some reason unscrupulous “music-want to-bees” prey on musicians – I don’t know why, maybe they think they are an easy soft touch. Maybe they don’t like musicians or worse yet – don’t like music. (WOW) A lot of these folks are or were musicians themselves, or maybe an intern somewhere in the music business, or actually love music. They believe this gives them the right to proclaim themselves a music marketing expert, or worse yet, a music publicist which takes many years of music industry experience and the accumulation of thousands of music media contacts, and further, advertise the best possible product or service that will accelerate your music career.

Well here is what I have to say about that: I’ve been a musician myself — albeit a long time ago, back then, there were still many music industry scam artists. I’ve experienced the deep pain of being screwed by unscrupulous people claiming to be my savior in the music business. The Internet and the leveling of the independent music playing field has opened up a huge amount of opportunities for these sharks and scam artists to work their game. The only way my band became successful was sheer luck – we found the right honest people.

Here is a checklist to seriously consider when choosing your ultimate publicist or marketing service:

Check their credentials – And follow this checklist

Do they have a creditable online presence?

Do they have hundreds of testimonials? Or, as I like to call them TRUSTIMONIALS – Check their references!

How many “HONEST” years of experience do they have? Ver!fy this

Have they written hundreds of articles about music marketing?

Do they belong to many high-profile music industry organizations?

Does the prospective marketer or publicist answer all of your questions

or do they subtly evade them?

Will they tell you who and where they will be promoting your music with?

i.e. their music media affiliations – or do they tell you to wait and see?

Have you seen proven samples of their work?

Will they give you what they are promising in writing?

Before you make a choice consider –


Aside from doing great work that actually helps you with your career, these are probably the three most important elements to consider

If any or all of the above credential checks are not in the positive category —


Being fortunate enough to uncover the right people for our project way back then, I’m not saying that it’s impossible to do so. I’m just saying that it is so incredibly important, these days especially, to do your homework and due diligence before you shell out your hard-earned cash. Most indie musicians are on a shoestring budget and every penny means something to them. Take the time to possibly confer with a creditable music industry consultant. Most will be able to recognize a scam when they see it.

So, to all you unscrupulous sharks out there waiting to swoop down on the next unsuspecting musician, sorry about writing this article – but you need to be exposed. Therefore, I am not really sorry. It’s people like you that give the music business, honest publicists and music marketers a bad name. Shame on you! I love my Indies and all musicians and artists and it hurts to see them taken advantage of. Try another niche’ – maybe people who need marketing help in selling rockets or industrial products and services. BUT – Leave Our Music Niche’ Alone!!

Changes In The Medical Marijuana Industry That Business Owners Need To Know About At Tax Time

The state-legal marijuana industry has seen some important changes in 2015.

Even though the federal laws remain unchanged at tax time dispensary owners, growers, medible makers and everyone else in the places with a state-legal medical marijuana industry should be aware of these changes at tax time.

By law anyone who brings in $1 worth of business income must file a tax return with the IRS. That is when they get to subtract their business deductions. Marijuana business people are no exception. If your state has repealed medical prohibition, it is the politician’s job to get unfair federal laws changed for their residents and businesses.

A change in those federal laws would save American taxpayers more than $13 billion every year. Time has proven marijuana is not a gateway drug, nor does it cause madness as movie producers once said it did to thrill their viewers. And if smoking a medicine is the problem, medical users where dispensaries are available have realized they can also vaporize, eat medibles, drink juice or other beverages, use tinctures, pills or sprays. Public consumption is down where medical marijuana clubs are available.

Every other small or large business is allowed deductions when they do their IRS federal return. Within the states where marijuana is legal for medical purposes there are businesses that deserve to be treated fairly. There are 23 states and the District of Columbia that now allow medical marijuana; those states collect taxes (or plan on collecting taxes) and put control in place for the prescription holder.

Before America’s state-legal marijuana businessmen and women can compete fairly those federal laws must be repealed. A new federal ruling made in a San Francisco federal court blocks the DEA from prosecuting medical marijuana dispensaries if they are state-sanctioned. The Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment bars the Department of Justice (DOJ) from using federal funds to block state marijuana laws. This 1603-page federal spending report essentially brings an end to the use of the taxpayer’s money to block marijuana’s medical use.

Where medical marijuana is available legally, sustainable healthcare is up and overdoses on prescription pills is down. Marijuana has been claimed to be a super antibiotic, good for strokes and other brain problems, helpful to alleviate pain, nausea, Parkinson, inflammatory bowel disease, PTSD, epilepsy and other seizures, kill cancer and Forbes magazine even asked if your aging parent should try it.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta has said we should legalize medical marijuana now. This a plant that was once listed in the U.S. Pharmacopeia and readily available in drug stores. With its use people have walked out of hospices and hospitals to live fuller lives. The U.S federal government has even owned patent #6630507 since 2003 for its use as an antioxidant and neuroprotectant.

The DOJ issued a memo that allows Indian tribes to grow and sell marijuana on their land. Other countries and people are also rushing to end its medical prohibition; for example Israel uses marijuana in their hospitals and for research. Many senators and governors want it legalized for medical use once again.

The IRS Advisory Code Report says marijuana businesses are now legal in some states, but still illegal under federal law. Marijuana businesses are not allowed to deduct all of their expenses because the federal government says no deduction or credit shall be allowed for any amount paid or incurred if such trade or business (or the activities of the trade or business) consists of trafficking in a controlled substance. Marijuana according to federal laws is a controlled substance with no medical use; yet the federal government holds a patent for medical use.

Those who want to keep medical marijuana illegal are mostly getting rich off of it being an illegal substance, although many pay no taxes on the money they earn. This includes the corrupt, illegal growers, dealers, trimmers and medible makers, people receiving taxpayer assistance checks but working in this trade, and those who want to keep marijuana on the black market. They don’t care what the citizens want, how they voted, or whether or not it helps a person’s medical condition, as long as they make money.

Medical marijuana users and business owners in the states where the citizens have voted to make marijuana’s use legal once again need to have regular meetings with their state politicians to discuss the unfair taxation problems. The people have spoken, now it’s the politician’s turn to get those laws changed.

How to Write a Mining Industry Business Proposal

The price of minerals is up all over the world, and mining is a growth business right now. Everyone wants to jump in. There are all sorts of aspects to the mining industry you may want to take advantage of. Maybe you want approval from a government agency to open a new mining operation.

Maybe you want to expand an existing operation or revive an old one. Perhaps you hope to interest investors in a mining project, sell equipment and machinery, or sell services such as safety training or environmental cleanup to the mining industry.

So how are you going to go about pitching your ideas to the people that need to hear them? You could try a direct mail or email campaign, but it’s not likely that either of those would be persuasive enough. To get the attention of the appropriate decision-makers and prove that you know what you’re talking about, you need to write a proposal.

Sure, you could hire a professional proposal writer. But you’re going to have to supply a writer all the information for the proposal, so why not write it yourself? You can always hire an editor to fix grammar and punctuation errors before you send out the final version.

So what should go into a proposal? Each proposal will contain different topics because of the endless possible combinations of businesses and situations, but this article will explain the basic structure that you should follow to create a successful proposal. You don’t need to start from scratch, either, unless you want to. You can speed up the process with a package like a proposal kit and start your project with pre-designed templates, instructions, and sample proposals in hand.

Here’s the basic structure for any sort of business proposal: Introduce yourself and your proposal, show that you understand the proposal reader’s needs, explain how your ideas, goods, or services will meet those needs and what they will cost, and convince the proposal reader that you are the right party for the job.

The secret to a successful proposal lies in part 2, showing that you understand the proposal reader’s needs. Because, although of course you want to get whatever you’re seeking-the loan, the approval, or the contract-a proposal should never be all about you. Each proposal needs to be tailored to the party who is going to read it.

Think about your proposal readers first. What do they want? What do they need? What will they want to know about you and your ideas? If you need to, do some research about your potential clients, customers, or investors so you can prove to them that you understand their concerns; the extra effort will pay off in the long run.

Now that you understand the basic structure and the secret, let’s fill in some more details, starting at the beginning.

Part 1, the introduction, should consist of a brief cover letter that tells your reader who you are and what you’re seeking from them, and provides all your contact information. The cover letter should also include a mention of what you’d like the reader to do after considering your proposal (approve the project, sign the contract, give you the funding, etc.-this is your “call to action”).

Following the cover letter, create a title page that introduces your proposal (for example, “Proposal to Open a Silver Mine in the XYZ Basin,” “Environmental Cleanup of the XYZ Mines,” or “Proposal to Lease Heavy Equipment to the XYZ Mining Company”).

If your proposal is complex, you may need to follow the title page with what is called an Executive Summary or a Client Summary-a page that lists your most important points. This sort of summary page is generally included for high-level decision makers, who may read only this page and leave the details of your proposal for their subordinates to analyze.

Again, if your proposal is long or complex, you may want to follow this summary page with a table of contents (TOC). You may not be able to generate a TOC until you’re done with the body of your proposal, but this is where the table of contents belongs in the structure.

On to the all-important Part 2: demonstrating that you understand the needs and concerns of your proposal readers. Obviously the topics in this section will vary depending on your audience, but you’ll probably want to include topic pages with titles like Needs, Requirements, and Opportunities.

You might want to include discussions of issues like Challenges and Risks to show you understand the big picture, too. Remember, this section is not about selling yourself, but about showing your readers that you understand their interests and concerns.

In Part 3, you describe exactly what you’re proposing, what it will cost, and how it will benefit your potential clients, investors, or the community or market in general. Remember that this section is still not about why you are the best pick, but about how your ideas, products, or services can benefit the proposal reader’s organization.

The topics you include here will depend on exactly what you’re proposing to do. You might need topic pages for Environmental issues, Equipment, Safety, Training, Transportation, Security, or Marketing, just to name a few. Include details and costs of what you’re offering, topics like Products, Services Offered, Price List, Cost of Goods, Benefits, and so forth.

Finally, in Part 4, it’s your turn to describe why you’re the best choice to receive the funding, approval, and/or the contract. Include topics like your Company History, Projects, Experience, Personnel, Education, Certifications, and so forth. It’s always more impressive to readers if others sing your praises, so be sure to add topics like Awards, Referrals, and Case Studies that showcase successes you’ve had in the past.

At the very end of Part 4, you should conclude the proposal with a Call to Action, specifically asking for whatever it is you want your reader to do next-set up a meeting, sign a contract, give you approval or funding, and so forth.

At this point, you have written the basic draft of your proposal. Now, before you send it out, you have two more tasks to complete. First, hire that editor if you need to, but proofread every single page-if you send out an unprofessional-sounding proposal, odds are the recipients will think your business practices are sloppy, too.

Second, as well as sounding professional, your proposal needs to look professional. So make the pages look good, and consider adding splashes of color and graphic touches with your company logo, special bullets, interesting fonts, etc.

When your proposal is as polished as it can be, send it out, attached to email as a PDF file or as a printed copy sent via mail or delivered by hand. Choose the delivery method that makes sense for you and your recipients, always keeping in mind that you want to impress them.

So now you can see that anyone who has great ideas or products or services to offer can put together a business proposal, whether it’s for a mining project or any other. Writing a proposal doesn’t need to be an intimidating project. You can do it. And remember that starting with a pre-designed proposal kit can give you a giant head start. Why not begin ten steps ahead with ready-made topic templates, instructions, and sample proposals?

Portable Industrial Vacuum Systems

Vacuum systems have always been used industrially to transport liquid products such as water, slurries or slurries, as well as dry products. This vacuum system may be truck based, or alternatively, on a portable platform such as a trailer or skid. A common question is how far the product can be transported, and how close the vacuum unit should be to the job. This paper answers the question for moving liquid products with a Liquid Ring pump based vacuum system.

For liquid products, it makes no difference how far you can run horizontally (up to 400-500 feet) as long as you use good seals and gaskets to prevent vacuum loss. Make sure you don’t experience any additional (unnecessary) kinking or lifting or lowering of the hose. It should be as straight as possible on a flat track. Use a slow 90 degree radius spin. The bend in the line reduces the loading rate significantly. Your vertical lift will be the hardest part of the process. No machine will lift a solid column of water more than ~30 feet. You can make very high lifts (over 100′) vertical if air is allowed to enter the column. Make sure your hose is not buried in the product for a long time….the system needs to swallow air.

You cannot burn a liquid ring vacuum system by burying the hose in the product; it will only make hot water in the water tank. When that water finally evaporates, you will lose your vacuum. When you add water back into the tank, your vacuum will return.

Hard tubing will greatly improve your flow by reducing friction losses. Maybe you can’t use it, but if possible, use it. (Hard tubing is usually Schedule 80 PVC, glued in a straight line, flanged cleaning at 90° slow radius, threaded end for flexible suction hose). Descending works best if you suck into the container. If it’s possible to do this, do it.

In general, larger diameter hoses provide greater vacuum efficiency and higher loading rates. Changing the diameter of the hose along the length of the suction hose can be a problem. Air velocity is directly dependent on the diameter of the hose, and variations in air velocity can cause blockages in solid products.

Hoses with a 4″ diameter can be handled by one person. Hoses with a diameter of 6″ require frequent disconnection or tag-teaming by two people. A better alternative is to use a wheelbarrow or a broom or sweeper to transfer the product to the hose. It is also possible to remove the intake and have two hoses working at the same time, under the right circumstances. A wand is available for the end of the hose to facilitate product retrieval, and often a makeshift grip is made of brooms and duct tape.

For solids, a 6″ hose can generally handle a maximum diameter particle size of 2″, a 4″ hose can handle 1″, and a 2″ hose can handle a maximum particle size”.

As indicated, hard tubing is best for reducing friction losses. If you don’t have tough piping, the next best thing is a smoothbore hose. Corrugated polyethylene hoses are lightweight and easier to handle, but long corrugated hoses can reduce speed dramatically. Most of the length of your hose should be hard tubing or fine bore rubber hose, with only the last part of the working end (<30′) being lightly corrugated hose.

Machine Vision and Inspection

This system is widely used by machine makers in the manufacturing industry as a method for checking the quality of products or components on a production line. They can be found all over the world and in a number of different environments.

A factory in England produces stainless steel washers of various sizes. The production line is very basic. Washers are punched out of large sheet metal where they are dropped onto a conveyor belt ready to be packed into bags. One day, a worker found a bag containing a washing machine without a hole in the middle!

A vision inspection system could be introduced to identify this kind of fault before the faulty washer is packaged. A camera, placed at a point along the conveyor would be triggered to take a picture of a washer as it passes underneath. The image from the camera is relayed to a computer system that is pre-programmed by an engineer to interpret the image of the washer and decide if it is acceptable or faulty. A washer identified as faulty could be removed further down the line allowing only acceptable ones to be packaged.

This is a vision system almost at its most basic. They can do an awful lot more! Taking the washer example further; the computer system could be programmed not only to detect the presence of a hole but also check the size of the hole, the size of the washer’s outer diameter, the quality of the punched hole’s edge, roundness, scratches, colour and a whole lot more besides. Moving on from simple washers, a camera system can be used to take measurements and check the quality, alignment and presence of extremely complex assemblies.

A more recent use of vision systems is for robot guidance. Many modern car production lines rely on cameras to guide the robot arms in manouvering components like windscreens carefully into place on their vehicles.

This is only a very simple overview of what is an often a complex and vital part of the manufacturing process. In further articles I hope to go into greater depth of what makes up a vision system and how it integrates into the production line.

Implementing Vision System in Manufacturing Industry

Vision System is the perfect technological advancement today. The main task of this machine is to track the related operations of the machine and its applications. The main purpose of this tool is to produce higher quality commercial products and makes the consumer experience better. Vision System collects data on each production unit every day and makes the production process more effective in every way.

The task of the vision system is to inspect production lines and other areas in all industrial units. This machine identifies parts to final assembly and packaging. Any mistake can cause a setback for the entire line, and the vision system saves you from crucial losses. The vision system improves efficiency many times over because the computer system can identify deviations and faulty products. The image of the damaged product is captured and then entered into the system. At the end of the line, they are removed.

Vision System helps predict damage to each unit. Industrial machine breakdowns often occur because, in industry, machines are used every day. They are also prone to breakdowns and errors. If the entire machine breaks down, it can cause a huge financial setback for the unit. However, by applying the Vision System, damage can be avoided before the production process starts. The machine will identify the signal and provide fault information.

All manufacturing and assembly industries that operate 24 hours need to apply the Vision System in each production unit. The manufacturing industry always runs production machines throughout the day and must ensure consistency of quality in the products that will be sold to the market. Vision System helps companies with large capacities continue to create high-quality products. How is this system able to maintain consistency of product quality? The Vision System collects many signals and identifies them also displays them in detail in 3D form. You will find detailed information about a product during the production process, such as the position of the bottle cap, labeling, sealing, etc.

The Vision System has a state-of-the-art camera. This camera captures the signal and defines it into a detailed 3D image on the computer. Displaying product information in 3D will help in understanding the product parts in detail. It doesn’t matter whether your product includes large or small components, all assembly will work as expected. So, If you want to ensure that the component assembly of a manufactured product meets the standards, you must perform a 3D inspection using System Vision.

Through the advanced inspection machines from Vision System, the manufacturing units can continue to check their production processes regularly and reduce errors. Manufacturing industry owners can easily find several Vision System manufacturers specializing in new systems today. Please visit several websites of Vision System manufacturers, and find a machine that fits your company’s needs.

Right Industrial Supplies for Quality Management

Every industrial establishment and office requires the right supplies and material handling equipment to function properly. Daily tasks are simply not possible on such workplaces without the assistance of these useful tools and equipment. This is why selecting the right office and industrial supplies is such a key management decision.

Various industrial supplies have a central role to play in everyday production and support and logistic operational functions. Something as elementary as a forklift is central to logistic operations in an industrial workhouse, but consider how the quality of its performance can affect efficiency and productivity of the entire industrial unit.

Even tools such as drum handling equipment and a cart or a dolly cart, which do not involve as many mechanical complexities as a forklift make a huge difference to the operational efficiency. Even simple carts can damage the industrial process if it fails to operate with the smoothness and durability expected of a quality unit

As a matter of fact, any single tool malfunctioning in the architecture of your operational process can adversely affect the output. And if you are not concerned about affected output, then there is no point in meticulously working to improve it day in and day out.

There are many factors that could help you determine how to choose the right source and material for the supplies for your concern. While it is understandable that most managers would like to choose a supplier that is close to the destination of the supplies to curb the cost of shipping and logistics, covering reliable manufacturing brands and product quality should not be neglected as well.

One good parameter of determining the quality of the industrial supplier is checking how comprehensive their range is. A quality industrial supplier should offer everything from supplies as basic as janitorial supplies and bags and packaging to sophisticated material storage equipment, handling equipment and crane trucks. Going for industrial supply specialists can not only assure you about their reliability about product availability, but they are more likely to have a greater reputation in the market. Green businesses are also particular about industry supplies that are environment friendly. There are industrial suppliers who guarantee that they deal in green industrial supplies and that the materials they use are not harmful to the environment in any way. This is important since the business of such suppliers will affect the reputation of the customer as well.

Cost is another undeniable factor which can determine such a purchasing decision which is important to balance with quality. This is where online industrial suppliers stand out as a very attractive and useful source to turn to.

While many traditional managers may not trust an online source, these suppliers are often better in rates, efficiency, product quality, customer support and brand coverage than most local concerns. And with cost-effective solutions on shipping, these suppliers also overcome the challenge of delivering the product at the doorstep of the customer and on time as well. Industrial concerns around the world are increasingly turning to online industrial suppliers to capitalize their benefits to the fullest. There is little doubt about how critical industrial supplies are to any business, whether in the services or manufacturing sectors. However, the right procurement decisions can prove to be as critical to the overall profitability and productivity of a business. Operational and Procurement Managers must not ignore this important aspect of their professional responsibilities.

While industrial units would leave no stone unturned to implement their Total Quality Management practices, ensuring the quality of industrial supplies is only the most fundamental step to achieve such a standard of excellence.

Electronic Contract Manufacturing

Companies that design, assemble, manufacture, and test electronic components and assemblies for original equipment manufacturers are known as electronics manufacturing services.

The original equipment manufacturers, commonly termed as OEMs, retain the ownership of the said product designs and brand names. Electronic Manufacturing services sometimes branch out into contract electronic manufacturers, and specialize in rapid prototyping and product testing.

Electronic manufacturing services offer large, small or medium production runs. The materials can be built from consignment, vendor-owned or customer supplied materials.

Some electronic manufacturing services offer design services like conceptual product development advice, software, and mechanical and electrical design assistance.

Various other electronic manufacturing services have testing abilities and can perform in-circuit, environmental, functional, analytical laboratory and agency compliance testing.

They use several processes and manufacturing technologies. Some of them provide printed circuit boards, connected populated boards or assembly services into larger assemblies. Other products that can be made are flexible printed circuit boards, rigid boards and rigid-flexible circuit boards.

Some vendors specialize in optoelectronics. They can assemble devices that will function as electrical to optical or optical to electrical transducers. Light emitting diodes, injection laser diodes, and photodiodes can also be assembled.

Electronic manufacturing services also include component mounting. The electronic manufacturing services use two basic technologies, through hole technology (THT) and surface mount technology (SMT).

In the THT, components are mounted on a PCB by inserting component leads through holes in the board. They are then soldering the leads in place on the opposite side of the board.

In the SMT, components are added to a PCB by soldering component leads or terminals to the top surface of the board.

Electronic manufacturing services are available all over the world and in the United States. The EMS varies in terms of production capabilities, quality standards and various regulatory requirements.

The Intelligent Factory

The question is not “if” manufacturers will embrace wireless sensor networks, but when. Nostradamus does not need to predict the future for this technology. The number of sensors in the market has exploded and will continue to grow. More data is felt today than ever before with smart devices in the home, in the car, and around the factory.

To visualize the future of wireless sensor networks, we need look no further than a new car. If you have been buying a new car over the last five years, you are well aware that every component in the car is monitored by sensors. Tire pressure, oil, airbags, brake pads and location are just a few of the hundreds of components monitored in your car that provide intelligence. That’s why we don’t see as many cars breaking down on the side of the road as we used to. Warnings were given well in advance that there was something to watch out for. New cars today have hundreds of sensors. Cars are safer, they use less fuel, and the new car feeling lasts a little longer.

Manufacturing will follow the same paradigm. As with cars, every aspect of factory operations will be monitored. Real-time data about factory operation will work like a new car. Be warned that equipment begins to show ware before it breaks down unexpectedly preventing unplanned downtime and extraneous energy use. The result of this warning is safer and up-to-date plants that will not be left by the roadside.

Smart sensors make smart factories. Using condition and process monitoring in factories is nothing new, but data availability has never been easier. Wireless systems provide data that is not only real-time, but may not be possible before. Remote locations or hazardous environments will no longer create data black holes; moving assets can be tracked and coordinated easily, so fleets can be managed. Using wireless sensors, a window into a world of information is opened that did not exist before. Cable-free enables robust, fast, and flexible data systems to enhance nearly every process imaginable in environments where precision is critical.

The bottom line is that wireless sensors will be everywhere in the factory. The data they provide is too valuable. Sensor sizes have shrunk, processors deliver more power, and costs continue to fall. The benefits of sensor technology far outweigh the costs. We use a new car as an example of a key indicator of where sensor automation is headed. Most of us have seen and felt its value. It doesn’t take much imagination to visualize the same mechanical and environmental conditions that are monitored in a factory. Wireless sensor networks are the next thing that drives “The Intelligent Factory”.