NeuConcept https://neuconcept.com Marketing. Web Development. Graphic Design. Multimedia. Mon, 15 Aug 2022 22:43:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://neuconcept.com/storage/2017/06/favicon.png NeuConcept https://neuconcept.com 32 32 Is Health Insurance Really Necessary? https://neuconcept.com/chm/ Mon, 15 Aug 2022 19:13:18 +0000 https://neuconcept.com/?p=5802 I’d like to share my experience and what works best for me and my family, after getting asked this often over the years. It will vary for everyone. Ever since I started NeuConcept in 1996, I thought the security I needed in the health world was what I’d always had and should continue with: insurance.

However, there are alternatives to health insurance. Many!

After years of paying sky-high premiums as a business owner, our family has discovered healthcare sharing ministries. Essentially this is a ministry that we donate to each month, and they help share our healthcare expenses when it falls within their guidelines. This gives us the freedom to choose whatever doctors we want as “self-pay” patients, while still having an organization to back us up in emergencies or other healthcare incidents, like having a baby.

And because I over-shop EVERYTHING, I made multiple scenarios as to what our family could need health insurance for. In each scenario, the healthcare sharing ministry won. In fact, after we switched from health insurance, our out-of-pocket costs remained essentially the same, while our monthly premiums went down hundreds of dollars a month.

Over the years, I’ve had health insurance brokers that could get better deals than I ever could. I appreciate these health insurance brokers because they know all the ins and outs of the industry with each of the policies, but for insurance only. Anthem, United, HMO, PPO, and on and on… Even when presenting some of the “Healthcare cost sharing ministries” to our broker (shopper of insurance), he confirmed that there were no other competitive options that compared.

However, if someone is dependent on a particular medication or prescription covered by their insurance policy, then sticking with that insurance company could be a better option. Prescriptions are often not covered by some of these ministries. We don’t have a lot of medication needs, and when we do, we use something like GoodRX or Costco Pharmacy to get a better deal.

I’m asked often how we run our business, and this is just one piece that I believe is important to maintain and have: Health insurance or some alternative. There are too many unknowns in life, and I appreciate being prepared. Peace of mind! 😉

In full transparency, the below links are provided for your convenience and as a referral benefit to us if someone signs up. No expectations or requests. Do what is best for you and feel free to use our ID if you decide to go this route:

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NeuConcept Featured as a Cloudways Expert https://neuconcept.com/neuconcept-cloudways-expert/ Tue, 08 Jun 2021 21:41:42 +0000 https://neuconcept.com/?p=5783 The NeuConcept team is honored to be selected to be a part of the Cloudways Experts program. Essentially, the experts program is designed to help companies looking for website help.

NeuConcept as been handpicked by Cloudways for this program, which features:

  • Designers, developers & marketers
  • Business skills
  • Knowledgeable experts on the Cloudways Platform

What does this Expert Program mean?

Cloudways is a popular managed hosting platform that we work with for its performance, reliability and flexibility. Cloudways can also scale to grow with our clients.

At NeuConcept, we’ve done our research. We partner with quality hosting platforms that provide top-notch service and security for our clients.

View our Cloudways Expert profile.

NeuConcept Cloudways experts
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Power in the Positive https://neuconcept.com/power-in-the-positive/ https://neuconcept.com/power-in-the-positive/#comments Tue, 22 Sep 2020 21:33:37 +0000 http://dev.neuconcept.com/?p=3737 We’ve all experienced a well-meaning advice that resulted in disaster… or was completely ignored.

And nobody wants to be Debbie Downer (check out this classic and hilarious SNL video):

debbie_downer

The way you communicate advice determines whether others can and will listen to what you have to say. Then they might even act on your feedback.

First Impulse

In a business conversation, when someone says something that you disagree with, your first impulse is to say something negative, like:

“You’re wrong.”

“It’s simply not done that way.”

“That will never work.”

When you go on to explain your reasoning, the listener is focused on the insult of your negative language.

Ever felt like you just got slapped by someone in a conversation? The shock of it causes you to freeze and think, “What just happened?”

That is what your listener is dealing with… and this makes it almost impossible for that person to hear your constructive words.

Negative language damages relationships.

Not only does negative language result in you being ignored, it also obstructs and damages your relationships with other people.

Become More Powerful

According to veteran consultant and author Jim Lukaszewski, a positive approach defeats those who are negative.

If you eliminate negative or emotional words, you become more powerful and in control of most situations.

Often it just takes a minor adjustment to communicate more effectively.

Positive Make-Over:

Let’s see how we can makeover the negative language above:

Negative

Positive

“You’re wrong.” “We came up with a different result…” OR “Our experience has been different.”
“It’s simply not done that way.” “Here’s the way we do it…”
“That will never work.” “What we’ve found that works is…”

 

For those more quantitatively inclined, there has actually been research done on the optimal ratio (2.9x) to achieve when communicating positive vs. negative feedback. It’s called the Losada Ratio.

How can you make-over your feedback to remove negative words?

 

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Fewer Options Equal More Sales https://neuconcept.com/fewer-options-equal-more-sales/ Sun, 02 Aug 2020 23:39:36 +0000 http://dev.neuconcept.com/?p=2517

As Costco fans, we watched a documentary by CNBC called, The Costco Craze.

It was interesting to see the reporter delve into all the reasons that Cosco is so successful with a loyal following.

The show focused on a few major points:

  • low prices
  • fostering a sense of discovery with unexpected, frequently changing items
  • limited (but carefully reviewed) selection

These are all reasons I love the giant wholesaler. It’s a good deal, and they have cool stuff that is high quality.

The area that I probably appreciate the most is the fact that Costco does narrow it down for me. Instead of 10 brands to choose from on a given item: there’s usually 1 or 2. The reporter pointed out that shoppers were delegating their selection process to Costco. I know I am.

The show shared some vivid stats that illustrate this point:

  • Grocery store: 400,000 items
  • Wal-Mart: 100,000 items
  • Cosco: 4,000 items

In a world where we are all overwhelmed, sometimes less selection is better.

I’ll address this more in future posts as Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind, one of my favorite marketing texts for my strategic communications class, covers this in more depth.

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2019 STL Tunes https://neuconcept.com/2019-stl-tunes/ Wed, 15 May 2019 17:59:53 +0000 https://neuconcept.com/?p=5605 Great music around the corner.
If you have an appreciation for quality tunes or ever played an instrument in your lifetime, consider checking out these events. I hope to be at as many as I can!😉

Sunday, May 19, 2019, 7pm
Snarky Puppy

Pavilion at Atomic Cowboy
$35+FEES
https://www.atomiccowboystl.com/concert-listing/8930475/snarky-puppy/

Saturday, June 15, 2019, 3:00pm-10:30pm
CHESTERFIELD WINE & JAZZ FESTIVAL
Dave Weckl and more

Chesterfield Amphitheater
$5 at the gate, kids under 12 free!

Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 7:30pm
DOUBLE VISION REVISITED
featuring Bob James, David Sanborn & Marcus Miller with guests Billy Kilson & Larry Braggs

The Sheldon Concert Hall
https://www.ecpcruisesashore.com/double-vision/

Saturday, September 7, 3:30pm-10pm
The Smooth Jazz Cruise On Land in St. Louis
1st Annual Festival

  • 8:30 pm: Brian Culbertson
  • 7:00 pm: Grace Kelly
  • 5:30 pm: Eric Darius
  • 4:30 pm: Erin Bode
  • 3:30 pm: Tim Cunningham

Chesterfield Amphitheater
$30+FEES
https://www.ecpcruisesashore.com/smooth-jazz-cruise-ashore/

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Cord Cutting Fun with Tablo Over The Air (OTA) Digital Tuner and DVR https://neuconcept.com/tablo-digital-tuner-and-dvr/ Fri, 26 Apr 2019 21:19:56 +0000 https://neuconcept.com/?p=5579 Cord cutting is nothing new, but folks like me like $$, or keeping as much of it as they can. I do find it ironic that many now pay close to cable costs with the multiple streaming services. I am not one of those, currently just holding onto Netflix (even with their ridiculous regular increases) and antenna over the air (OTA) connections for most of our digital media consumption. Sharing a login for others channels or paying Apple for something specific from time to time is nice.

After having acquired a newer 75” 4k television, I decided that the tuner wasn’t important enough to seek out since it was lacking one anyway. The wife thought otherwise.

Thus my new quest to find:

  • Digital TV Tuner
  • Antenna connection for free local basic channels
  • Easy to use
  • Low cost
  • Quality software that doesn’t feel dated like those crummy cable interfaces that have been near unusable for so long

For about $30 more than a standard digital tuner box I was able to get these Bonuses:

  • DVR Recording of shows (commercial skipping coming)
  • Antenna cable doesn’t have to connect to the television!
  • Streamable to any device: Can play anywhere in the house (or outside our WiFi network with subscription)
  • Works with Roku or preferably my Apple TV 4k
  • Works on multiple televisions in the house (ours having Apple TVs) with no physical antenna connection to TV required

Summary: $140 new or $80 used, I’ve been able to rock a truly digital experience with DVR functionality using an app on my Apple TV.

Buy an Antenna, Roku or Apple TV and Tablo for capturing OTA (Over The Air) channels to complete this great experience.

The alternative, if budget allows and you don’t mind a bit more geekery and cost, would consist of:

  • NVidia Shield running Plex
  • Subscription to Plex for the show schedules
  • AntennaHDHomeRun or other digital tuner (Tablo dual-tuner USB adapter) to capture the signals and interface with the Shield

To complete the cord cutting experience, feel free to research these popular services:

  • Netflix
  • YouTube TV
  • Sony Vue
  • Sling
  • Hulu
  • DirecTV Now

Just a few of the helpful resources:

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How I Programmed Philips Hue Lights to Notify Me of Baseball Scores for Icee Deals https://neuconcept.com/mobile-on-the-run-cardinals-ifttt-espn-philips-hue-fun/ Mon, 01 Oct 2018 17:14:29 +0000 https://neuconcept.com/?p=5513 Update (May 2019): ESPN has discontinued IFTTT integration months ago, and I’m still looking for a simple alternative rather than scraping scores with some custom Python code or something similar. Suggestions welcome, as the below info May no longer apply.

Hacker Fun for Baseball Drink Deals:

Want to take advantage of local deals based on your home team’s game scores?

I’m a deal-hunter and life-hacker. So when I saw that Mobile on the Run Gas stations were running $.50 drink days based on my home baseball team’s score, I saw a fun challenge.

The challenge

Could I get my newly installed fireplace smart LED lights (powered by Philips Hue) to automatically light up Cardinals red when our St. Louis baseball team scored the necessary “more than 6” runs?

How cool would it be to have my great room turn red to notify me that I needed to run to the gas station and get my drink deal?

Icees, here I come!

The Solution

If Then Then This (IFTTT) is a favorite service of mine where you can do just about anything online if you can find the right “recipe.”

Since my challenge was based on a sports team’s score, I used ESPN, but I needed to limit the variable to 6 or more runs.

Here’s the steps:

  • Set up an IFTTT Recipe with ESPN service
  • ESPN Populates a Google Sheet with the Cardinal’s Final Score
  • Setup a formula field cell to only change when STL Cardinal’s score is greater than 6
  • When this happens, another IFTTT Recipe monitors Google Sheets and sets the Philips Hue Fireplace lights to the desired scene

Pretty cool outcome.

I enjoyed the end result of having my fireplace turn red. It can be a bit eerie when you’re in bed and the great room turns red all of a sudden, but it’s the price to pay for a .50 drink.

It can surely be accomplished in many ways, but this worked for me. I can share my Google sheet or feel free to take the magic below to be added to the file ESPN creates:

Column E:

  • =ARRAYFORMULA(IF(ISBLANK($B$1:$B),, MID(B1:B,FIND(“STL”,B1:B)+4,2)+0))

Column F:

  • =ARRAYFORMULA(IF(E1:E<6, “”, “yes”))

Column G:

  • =SUMIF(F1:F,”yes”,E1:E)

Then you can set up any IFTTT Recipe (or trigger) to happen when this cell updates. In my case, it was the fireplace. For you it could be a text, an email, etc.

I’d like to have this trigger the next morning, but since IFTTT does not support timed events it may involve another service or possibly a field calculation in Google sheets involving the clock or date. I’ll update this post accordingly. 😉

P.S. There’s also a McDonald’s deal if the Cardinals score a home run, but I haven’t figure out how to translate that to the lights yet.

Feel free to enlighten me. For now, I’m using the “Mike app” to keep me posted (my friend Mike monitors sports more than I do!).

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2018 June and July Tunes https://neuconcept.com/2018-june-and-july-tunes/ Wed, 21 Mar 2018 23:19:58 +0000 https://neuconcept.com/?p=5461 Look for me!

I’m pretty excited about some upcoming musicianship here in St. Louis, both held at the Chesterfield Amphitheater. Only 15 minutes away for me and got a buddy coming from WI, so you know it’s worthy. 😉

It’s tough finding great videos because many labels and artists haven’t all recognized the benefit of posting good stuff. That said, I’ve tried to locate and place a few below…

The big one is in July ($75) with another in June ($5). My favorite drummer for only $5 is ridiculous! Thank you to whoever the sponsors are. Simon Phillips, the drummer’s house and studio burned down in the CA fire. I was saddened by this news from his Go Fund Me.

Being the best of the best, these folks have played for everyone like The Who, Toto, Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake, George Duke, Al Jarreau, Philip Bailey and others.

Let me know if I missed anything or you find some better vids. 😉

Chesterfield Jazz Festival

Saturday, June 23, 2018, 3:00 PM – 10:30 pm ($5)

  • Simon Phillips – Protocol feat. Greg Howe, Ernest Tibbs & Ottmar Ruiz – 8:45PM
  • Tracy Silverman w/ Bach to the Future – 7PM
  • Tracer w/ Ptah Williams, Darrell Mixon & Gary Sykes – 5:30PM
  • Maurice Carnes and the Hipjaz Quintet – 4:15PM
  • Two Times True feat. Carolbeth True – 3PM

Gateway Jazz Festival

July 21, 2018 ($75)

  • Jonathan Butler
  • Alex Bugnon
  • Boney James
  • Will Downing

 

 

 

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Article Review: Find a Path through the E-Commerce Jungle https://neuconcept.com/article-review-find-path-e-commerce-jungle/ Wed, 24 Jan 2018 22:02:05 +0000 https://neuconcept.com/?p=5451 Review by Sonia Coleman

How to navigate eBusiness decisions is one of the top concerns of many wholesale leaders. There’s a lot to digest: what technologies to select, how much resources are needed, what are the costs and challenges and how to get it to work well with existing staff and systems?

tED Magazine recently published a really helpful article on this topic that:

• Defines punchouts, discusses how EDI interfaces with eCommerce, shares how electrical distributors are using EDI and eCommerce shopping carts.

• Discusses benefits of EDI, what areas to consider before implementing

• How eBusiness can improve customer relationships, build customer loyalty

• Ends with a reminder that eCommerce is only as good as the product data.

“The e-commerce system is only as good as your data. Most distributors are not prepared for the fact that it’s a never-ending battle—there is always something to do on a daily basis. When you’re starting out, you can analyze your data or outsource it to see what position your data is in. I don’t recommend anyone even launching a site if you don’t have your data in a better place than where you started,” said Dan Dungan, NAED Chair and Springfield Electric’s Executive Chairman.

• Dungan noted that there are industry-wide efforts to improve data coming from vendors. IDEA just released its 2018 eBusiness Standards Update, created by dozens of electrical manufacturers and distributor eBusiness experts.

I encourage you to read the full article at tED Magazine.

Sonia Coleman works at the intersection of marketing + technology. She helps marketing teams and leaders build credibility, share successes and increase leads. Reach her at neuconcept.com/contact.

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3 Ways to Respond to Changing Expectations of B2B Buyers https://neuconcept.com/3-ways-respond-changing-expectations-b2b-buyers/ Thu, 21 Dec 2017 16:53:44 +0000 https://neuconcept.com/?p=5435 By Sonia Coleman

This is a summary of an article that originally appeared in the Tech 360 Briefing published by IDEA entitled, “What’s Driving Purchasing Changes?”

Disruption is occurring in many established industries…and the wholesale industry is feeling the heat from the Amazon effect.

For IDEA’s Tech 360 Briefing, I spoke with people from all sides of the supply chain—manufacturing, distribution, and contracting—to get their perspectives on what is driving these changes and how each part of the supply chain can compete.

Industry Perspectives

Desiree-Grace-Eaton-manufacturing-b2b

Desiree Grace, Eaton

VP Channel Development and Operations, Utility; Previously with Anamet Electrical

“I’ve seen a greater appreciation of partnering and working together to solve customer problems and needs, like responding to national disasters. Before Hurricane Harvey, Eaton positioned power systems inventory in the market to assist our distributors and customers with a rapid recovery.”

Graybar electrical distributor B2B purchasingMike Polansky, Graybar

Director, Planning and Procurement

“Having good accurate data is one of the items that can distinguish us from our competition; therefore, the need to have the most current, up-to-date information regarding an item—all the way from weights and measurements to to compliance information—is absolutely paramount.”

Frontier electric distributor purchasing b2b trendsJenifer Betz, Frontier Electric

Marketing Manager

“Online purchasing has had a huge impact on the industry. We definitely feel the pressure to have our products on our website. That’s the biggest thing that we’re trying to act upon. We need descriptive product data to be able to compete.”

Electrical contractor energy consulting b2b purchasing trendsMark Gillespie

TMI Electrical Solutions, President 
Past President, Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) 

“We rely on online sources for over 90 percent of the product information that we receive about a product. Much of the product data that we gather during the pre-sale process supports the design and estimate of project costs prior to even securing a contract.”

The impact of purchasing changes

It’s more than just a technology thing. Contractor, commercial and industrial end users are demanding better ways of getting things done. Using technology or going online is often just the most accessible way to do it.

Greater Access to Products

People and businesses can easily search and connect online. As a result, end users are looking beyond location and tradition as their purchasing criteria.

The Amazon Effect

End users are watching Amazon and eBay’s advances into commercial and industrial product lines with interest.

Expectations Increasing

Online purchasing in our personal lives increases our expectations of faster delivery, notification, tracking, and access to product information and inventory.

Read More

Takeaways: How to respond to these purchasing trends

Make it easy: Amp up convenience

It’s a competitive industry. Provide end users with the path of least resistance.

 Remove delays & obstacles

Empowered customers want descriptive product data and cut sheets now.

 Invest in stronger relationships

The supply chain is vibrant when partnership is embraced and supported.

Read More

Special thanks to Desiree, Mike, Jenifer and Mark for sharing their wisdom and insights with me on the supply chain.

Read More: Check out the full IDEA’s Tech 360 Briefing for insight on what’s impacting purchasing trends and how to react to these trends.

Sign up to subscribe to Tech 360 Briefing and share your comments on IDEA’s Linkedin page.

Find out more on how IDEA can help you with eBusiness at IDEA4Industry.com.

Sonia Coleman works at the intersection of marketing + technology. She helps marketing teams and leaders build credibility, share successes and increase leads. Reach her at neuconcept.com/contact.

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