Useful Paraguay Travel Tips

Paraguay is the second poorest country after Bolivia in South America. The people are friendly and the pace is slow. The country has about 6.7 million people and 2.3 million of them live in the capital city, Asuncion.Here are 18 tips on traveling to Paraguay:1. Spanish and Guarani are widely spoken in Paraguay.2. Summer is extremely hot and can be up to 40 degrees Celsius according to the locals. Our visit was in winter. You do need a light jacket at night and early morning. Trinidad was extremely cold at night and early morning. You need winter clothes in this part of Paraguay, bordering Argentina in the northwest.3. Time zone in Paraguay is the same as US Eastern Time.4. Electricity is 220 volts.5. Official currency is Guaraní. During our visit it was US$1 to 4400 Guaranis.6. You can withdraw US dollars or local guaranis in major bank ATMs in Paraguay. We withdrew ours at HSBC bank along Calle Palma.7. Money exchange can be made at the border town of Cuidad del Este if you are traveling by a local or tour bus from Foz do Iguacu, Brazil.8. Most shops prefer cash in Paraguay and do not accept credit cards.9. If you need to consult with a bank official, banking hours are between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. from Monday to Friday.10. Tipping is 10% in restaurants and bars.11. You can travel cheaply by bus from Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and Brazil to Paraguay. I do not have the experience but I’ve seen bus ticket counters in Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay that sells tickets to Asuncion, Paraguay. You will have to be aware of the need to go through immigration and customs on your own.12. Americans need Paraguayan visas. It costs US$160 per person and lasts until the passport expires.13. There are American fast food restaurants in Asuncion like McDonald’s and Burger King.14. We were careful with fruit juices and salads while eating in Paraguay. On our first night in Asuncion we asked for stir-fried vegetables instead of salad. BAD choice… we were given fried salad (tomatoes, shredded carrots and lettuce).15. Services at restaurants are slower than expected. So be patient.16. Get a hair cut in Asuncion. It is cheap. My son got one at Ayala, across the Grand Palace Hotel for USD4.50 by a barber who has 40 years of experience. He paid US$25 in Florida, US$10 in Mendoza, US$15 in Montevideo and US$13 in Sao Paulo.17. Tap water is drinkable in Paraguay according to the Paraguay Tourism Board. We bought bottled water.18. Airport tax is US$31.Do you have any travel tips to Paraguay?

How to Make Your Shop Decor Shout

Decorating the walls of your shop. The first thing you need to attack is the walls. A bare wall gives out one simple message…which is blank. In fact, without proper office or shop décor on the walls, it makes the place very unwelcoming and dull. Who do you think would walk into a shop that has bare walls that sings an uninviting song? To entice your customers to walk into your shop and purchase something from your shop, you’ll need to use the right color for the walls…some shade or color that attracts the right customers. If you want the walls décor to give out a warm and welcoming feeling, you can use a darker shade; on the other hand, if you want to make your customers feel happy to be in the shop, color your walls with a lighter shade. Then use some clever slatwall panels to decorate and display your products.

Give your shop décor an alive feel. Apart from decorating the shop’s walls, you’ll have to add plants into the shop décor as well. Having a couple of potted plants will instantly give the place an ‘alive’ feel and your staff and the people who walk into your shop will feel less removed from the outside world. Each type of plant gives out different signals, so play with the type of plants that you use to decorate your shop. If it’s within your budget, assign someone to come into your shop to work out the décor and accentuate the placement of the plants with lighting. Having plants as part of your shop décor can be tricky, though because plants require maintenance. However, you can hire people to take care of your plants for you or you could actually ‘rent’ the plants for your office décor.

Don’t mix and match concepts and furniture in your shop. Maintain a consistent look throughout your shop’s décor. It would give the customers a very mix-and-match feel when they walk into your shop when the furniture don’t match. For instance, you can’t very well decorate your shop with an antique piece together with a modern looking sofa in your shop. It would give the customers a really odd feeling. What you want to avoid with your shop décor is to give it a ‘thrown together’ feel…you want it to shout, CLASS ACT instead of ‘last minute thrown in together’.

Clear the clutter. And of course, just as any professional shop décor artiste or designer can tell you, clutter is an absolute no-no. It’s been said before so keep this clear in your mind…a clear desk clears the head even before you sit down and start your work. This principle applies to your shop décor. Keep things that should not be seen in your shop tucked away in a storeroom…for instance, stuff that you don’t use very often or products that you don’t intend to sell. Don’t leave boxes of products lying strewn all over the place. Ask your staff to regularly check and rearrange the products on the display areas, the desk, the slatwall display unit and of course, the walls. Some customers tend to pick up products and then leave them somewhere they don’t belong. Your staff should make it a point to return the item back to where they belong.

Build Your Brand With A Marketing Strategy

The majority of small-time online businesses do not bother with branding, thinking that the latter is only for large companies or those with a big marketing budget. However, applying the habits of a big business to your own small website by developing a brand marketing strategy can help your sales to climb, and help you to make a bigger profit this year than in any other year. By designing and applying a brand to your own company, no matter whether you are selling products or offering a service, you can encourage potential clients into your website, and persuade them to stay long enough to make a purchase. Brand building can also help you to develop long-term relationships with your clients, a significant step when you want to make a living from a business website.

The first steps towards promotional branding of your product involves developing an action plan and setting aside a reasonable budget. This often means creating a brand marketing strategy, beginning with working out what your customers want from your brand, and moving towards an appropriate brand for your website, complete with a ‘brand promise’, a set of ideals and values which visitors to your site will associate with your brand. In most cases, it is a good idea to employ an expert to create this brand for you, as they are more likely to be able to spot gaps in the market which your products can fill, and will also ensure that the brand matches your website’s themes.

One of the most important early stages in your brand building strategy will involve the creation of an image. Many small businesses start with a picture. This can be a photograph of yourself, or perhaps of a pile of books, or maybe even a hand-drawn image by a friend or relation. This picture should represent exactly what you want the clients to think about you, and represent the products or services that you are offering. For example, if you work from home and offer IT services, you may want to consider a brand marketing strategy image that involves a photograph of yourself sitting at your computer, perhaps with books or computer DVDs on a shelf behind you. This image will help to represent you at your work, and your client will not have to look at the text to understand that you are offering a from-home internet based service.

Short and simple messages like this form the basis of any great brand marketing strategy. You should not need a lot of text or content to get your brand’s message across to the client, and if you are finding it hard to create a brand that does this easily, then you may want to consider talking to an expert and asking them for advice or tips about how to create the brand perfectly. Once you understand how to get your message to the client without having to write them an essay, you should find that your brand evolves naturally to suit your own needs and what you want to offer to potential customers.

There are so many different ways to extend your brand marketing strategy once you have developed the design and color scheme of the brand that you can sometimes be spoiled for choice. You might want to look into promoting your website through audio and video messages, and there are plenty of places on the web that provide free hosting sites for these brand messages. With this method, you can get attention for your website from people who like to use video hosting services or listen to audio broadcasts.

You should also concentrate upon the basics of any brand marketing strategy, including regular creation of different content for your website. Content for your site is essential, and you will have to make sure that you regularly write new texts in order to be interesting to visitors of your website. Once you have rewritten content for the site itself, you can also work at spreading that content to other areas, including writing essays for article directories, with a link back to your site.

Any modern brand marketing strategy should also try and make an impact through social media networks. These allow a brand greater access to the general public, and can also bring in new clients through connections to your social media pages.