Gathering information from different class of people can be easy to do but hard to achieve the goal. In marketing management, information is very important to target the target. This is one part of Marketing Management Research, Chapter 9: Questionnaire Design.
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Gathering information from different class of people can be easy to do but hard to achieve the goal. In marketing management, information is very important to target the target. This is one part of Marketing Management Research, Chapter 9: Questionnaire Design.
We need a small business administration or do we? How could a lifetime entrepreneur make such a statement? Well, let me explain. You see, at the 2009 National Minorities Enterprise Development Conference, Karen Mills (SBA Director) stated that the SBA was able to get 1,000 banks that were not making loans after October 2008 to start making loans, but this is nonsense, as there were only 1727 small business loans made in the first six months of 2009.
Now, the FDIC Rules might have helped recently as they have changed the rules on the amount that banks must have on hand, and their criteria for taking over banks due to the fact they are out of money now. And in reality those 1727 little business loans had more to do with the stimulus package addition where the SBA would cover 90% of the risk, as opposed to the 80% that they used to cover.
Karen Mills also claimed that the GSA was the only agency of the Federal Government that had covered all 5 major criteria for small business contracting and duly gave them an award. But if you know anything about the GSA Small Business Contracting or have ever done business with that agency, the insanity of the solicitations and the advantages to women and minority businesses, turns out to be a huge disadvantage to any other small businesses.
What we need is much less public relations propaganda, fewer dog and pony shows, and more reality when it comes to the SBA, and if not, why not just shut it down completely and save 10s of billions of dollars in the budget. Seriously, why not consider this.
Lance Winslow - Lance Winslow's Bio. Lance Winslow thinks you should use your telephone to call your Congressman.
Note: All of Lance Winslow's articles are written by him, not by Automated Software, any Computer Program, or Artificially Intelligent Software. None of his articles are outsourced, PLR Content or written by ghost writers. Lance Winslow believes those who use these strategies lack integrity and mislead the reader. Indeed, those who use such cheating tools, crutches, and tricks of the trade may even be breaking the law by misleading the consumer and misrepresenting themselves in online marketing, which he finds completely unacceptable.
A Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) is a company design to give you and your small business a loan that you need. They only deal in capitals usually ranging from $250,000 to 5 million (USD). The (SBA) Small Business Administration was created in 1958 to help any citizen who qualifies to be able to obtain a capitol for their business needs. The SBA sells certificates to qualifying investor and institutions that will allow them to help you obtain a loan.
The (SBIC) can supply you with a loan that most likely will not be attainable by most banks. The (SBIC) helps out small business every year get lunched with small business loans for short term or long term. Since they are certified by the government their main goal is your success. It's not out there to take your money and make your loan terms unbearable to where you end up failing. They are certified by the government to make the loan terms bearable enough for and your business to succeed.
The (SBIC) has to go through a very though licensing program and is subject to audit every single year for the protection of everybody. They may receive 200% or more of leverage money on their private capital paid by the the SBA.
The Small Business Investment Company does not just loan money for you to jump start your small business but also to help you keep your business moving. They will loan money out for reasons such as, refinancing, reconstruction, plant modernization, updating to new equipment, marketing activities, land acquisition and research and development. These type of loans pretty much work the same way and if you already have obtained a SBIC loan it will probably be pretty easy to obtain and or extend and existing loan if you have or had paid off the last loan in good faith.
What SBIC does for you that banks or other investor can't do is they work directly with the Small Business Administration to pool money together in larger amounts and at a faster pace to get you the money that you need sooner than later. Plus you will not have to work with your bank and get denied and then have to go to the next bank and so on and so, not only is this a hassle but every time someone pulls your credit report it will hurt your credit.
With the right ideal and the right business plan in place the SBIC will help you get the capital to fit your needs that will help you lunch a business that will succeed.
Finally, Free REIT Trainer is an excellent web resource that I use often. If you go their right now, you can access a free video he calls "The 12 Month Real Estate Millionaire" that clearly lays out the tactics and techniques that he uses to earn big money while hanging out in Starbucks!
It's jaw-dropping stuff and something you need to check out now. Don't delay, have a look: Click Here Now
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Aaron_Krendel
As a business owner, you have probably had conversations with other business owners, bankers or investors about your bottom line. Without question, the most common business "bottom line" measurement is net profit (net income). However, net profit is only one of four important bottom lines which indicate the true financial performance of a company; in fact, it's not even the most important of the four.
The four bottom lines that a business owner must fully understand and monitor are:
* Return on Invested Capital
* Net Profit
* Operating Cash Flow
* Profit Per Employee
Each of these measures a distinct aspect of the business. Any metric has inherent limitations and weaknesses, and these four are no exception. Considering them, as a complete package, however, provides a complete view of "bottom line performance" with which to evaluate the health of the business. Let's take a look at each of these bottom lines.
RETURN ON INVESTED CAPITAL
If forced to choose the most important of the four bottom lines, it would likely be return on invested capital. This measure demonstrates how successfully the business enterprise turns capital (resources) into profit. In other words, it measures how effectively the company uses its money (borrowed or owned). After all, the primary financial reason for a business to exist is to return profit to capital holders (investors and lenders). To be considered a strong performer, a business must at least yield a return higher than its cost of capital.
Return on invested capital is calculated by summing net profit, interest, and amortization, then dividing this quantity by total assets (excluding excess cash and non-interest-bearing current liabilities). The denominator of this formula is based on the balance sheet, but with net profit as the prime input of the numerator, this measure is equally affected by revenue and expenses.
Return on invested capital is very useful when comparing the financial performance of different businesses, whether within or across industries. Every company generates different revenue, profit, and cash flow levels, but return on invested capital provides an equalizing measure of how effectively companies produce profit from a given base of resources.
If return on invested capital is such a good measure, why is it not the sole bottom line metric of business performance? As noted previously, every metric has inherent limitations, so it's not wise to rely on only one. The limitations of return on invested capital include:
* It does not measure cash flow.
* It can be easily manipulated by accounting methods.
* It is more difficult to measure than the other three bottom line measurements.
Net profit measures the economic reality of a value proposition over time. In other words, is the customer willing to pay more for the product or service than it costs the business to produce and deliver it? If so, the business will generate a net profit. This metric is calculated by deducting all operating expenses from total revenue (sales). This metric is commonly presented in actual dollars as well as percent of revenue (e.g. $50,000 in profit or 6.8% of revenue for the month).
One must know the accrual basis and matching principle to fully understand net profit. Accrual basis net profit focuses on the promise and agreement aspect of a business transaction. This is different than recording the financial activity based on when the cash changes hands. The matching principle requires that the expenses associated with producing certain revenue be recognized in the same period. For example, if revenue from a particular sale is recognized this month, all expenses related to that particular sales event should be recognized this month as well. In addition, capital items that are expensed over time (as depreciation) must be separated from normal expenses.
The inherent limitations of net profit include:
* It does not reveal the real cash situation since it focuses on the promise and agreement part of a business transaction.
* It is an abstract measure because it comes from the income statement and can be manipulated with different accounting methods.
OPERATING CASH FLOW
Cash flow for a business is like fuel for a vehicle: it keeps the business running. A business can operate for awhile at a net loss, but it cannot operate one day without cash. Operating cash flow measures how much cash is generated by the operations of the business. This metric focuses on the cash settlement part of a transaction. Not included in operating cash flow are cash items related to capital investments (buildings, equipment, etc.), investors, or lenders. In general, operating cash flow should exceed net profit; however, net profit should ultimately be the largest component of operating cash flow. One exception would be in businesses in a continuous pattern of high growth where cash is needed to fund working capital, primarily accounts receivable and inventory.
The inherent limitations of operating cash flow include:
* Since it focuses on the settlement part of a business transaction, it can be manipulated by varied accounting practices and management decisions (such as paying vendors late, holding customer checks for deposit at a later date, etc.).
* It can be manipulated and increased at the expense of profit, as in the practice of factoring receivables (selling receivables up front for a discount).
PROFIT PER EMPLOYEE
Profit per employee measures the returns on talent in addition to capital. In today's knowledge-based economy, measuring the financial performance of intangibles is more important than ever. Intangibles might include process knowledge, brands, customer bases, or any other form of intellectual capital (specialized knowledge and relationships). Large profits can be produced by creating intangibles, as we see in the proliferation of technology, service, and web-based businesses. These businesses require little investment in traditional capital, but large amounts of investment in people talent. Profit per employee provides a metric indicating a company's success in converting its raw talent into profits. It is calculated by dividing the net profit by the number of full-time equivalent employees engaged in the business operations.
The inherent limitations of profit per employee, similar to those of its numerator, net profit, include:
* It does not reveal the real cash situation.
* It is an abstract measure because it comes from the income statement and focuses on the promise and agreement part of a business transaction.
* It can be manipulated through management decisions to use part-time or contract staff in place of full-time employees. Determining the number of full-time equivalent employees is an exercise in estimation.
MANAGING THE FOUR BOTTOM LINES
Effective financial management for business owners should take all four bottom lines into account. How good of a job is your organization doing? Do you have a good view and understanding of these measurements? The first place to begin is to organize a month-end financial score card that keeps all four of these bottom lines in view. An example of a simple monthly financial scorecard can be found in the pdf of this article at the website listed below.
While it's critical to understand these four bottom lines, we should note that all four are lagging indicators, measuring past performance. Past performance does not determine future success. Understanding the variables for each of these metrics can, however, help you as a business owner make decisions that will move all of these bottom lines in a positive direction.
The four bottom lines discussed in this article represent different methods of viewing the performance of business operations. Certain businesses or industries may have different terms for them, but the underlying principle is universal: every business must make a profit, generate cash flow, and provide a financial return on its investment in both capital and talent. These four bottom lines should be used together rather than relying on just one or two, for each has inherent limitations which are complemented by the others. The full view will leave you better informed as a business owner.
Troy D. Schrock, CPA, is the developer of The ActionCFO Process, which provides a CFO system and part-time CFO to owners of midsize businesses who are looking for financial visibility and control without the cost of a full-time CFO. Most business owners are not even aware that full-time CFO expertise is unnecessary in most companies. ActionCFO advisors offer companies the expertise they need while implementing a fully customizable system to help business owners make better financial decisions. In short, business owners get the tools and CFO expertise in one package for less than 40% of what a full-time CFO would cost.
Learn more at http://www.actioncfo.com
Copyright 2009 Advisor Catalyst, Inc. Reprints permitted as long as the author information, website, and copyright statement are included.
Building up a good working environment is not so easy. Many companies prefer to use a neatly rule to make everyone working as what they want. This totally depends on the size of your business.
Every businessman wants their business processes go smoothly but there is no exact way that you can keep it working that good. What to do then? Management is one of the main key factor here but at the mean time we also need a good cooperation by every people with different skill.
Once we get into any part of the project well-planned activities must be set and everyone must be responsible for their own work. Of course, regular meeting is an essential key to track what we have done and how things are done comparing to our plan. Learning from those meeting we can change or adjust our next plan to avoid any further mistake if we are beyond the project.
In addition to regular meeting weekly or fortnight report must be submitted on time with a summary of activities, problems and request if needed. With this report, manager can find help or assistant to handle the problem if necessary.
More than this, to keep our working environment good, interpersonal relationship must be used. It is best if every stuffs just happen to know each other clearly. It can make the working process faster and more reliable.
Last but not least, multi-skill is needed. There are a few extra skills that we will find it helpful to go with. For example, if your computer just suddenly stop working then you may not want to spend time calling and waiting for technical stuffs to repair it so a stuff with the knowledge within this area can be helpful.
Before introducing you into this Smoothie business, I would like to give a quick introduction to what is Smoothie.
What is Smoothie?
A smoothie is a blended, chilled, sometimes sweet beverage made from fresh fruit or vegetables. In addition to fruit, many smoothies include crushed ice, frozen fruit, honey or frozen yogurt, although some smoothies are 100% fruit. They have a milkshake-like consistency which is thicker than slush drinks. Unlike milkshakes, they usually don't contain ice cream, but can contain milk. Smoothies are marketed to health-conscious people, and some restaurants offer add-ins such as soy milk, whey powder, green tea, herbal supplements, or nutritional supplement mixes. Smoothies became available in the United States in the late 1960s when ice cream vendors and health food stores began selling them. By the 1990s and 2000s, smoothies became available at mainstream cafés and coffee shops, and in pre-bottled versions at supermarkets. You can learn more about smoothie from here.
Smoothie business is now growing faster than expected. Many people just start choosing smoothie as their favorite beverage after knowing its great benefit to their health. An other alternative to your fast food which has more nutrients is smoothie.
To start your smoothie business, there are many ways to go. It depends on how much money you want to invest.
If you want to have a fast start, you can get a franchise. A franchise will need an initial investment of $250K. This can be quite a large amount but a big advantage of franchising is that one can use a brand name that is already well-known and together with it, the customers who patronize the brand. A small kiosk certainly costs less because all that is needed are several blending machines, ingredients and décor. Marketing costs can be substantial especially if starting the smoothie business from scratch. Fliers, leaflets and other media advertisements will have to be done to let people know that the business exists.
Prior to deciding the menu offering for the smoothie business, research has to be conducted. Every fruit and vegetable has its own set of followers, people who believe in their efficacy. For example, some people like mint after meals because it freshens the breath and aids in digestion. Ginger is known to soothe the stomach, has blood purifying properties and is an aphrodisiac. Popeye has made spinach popular and carrots are famous as eye vegetables. In short, the entrepreneur must know what people want and this is what he has to offer.
A good idea would be to mix smoothies that offer benefits that people want to obtain, like anti-aging, memory-boosting, energy-boosting, immunity strengthening and anti-oxidant action. One might have to come up with his own mixes because fruits and vegetables have their unique set of properties and nutrients. For something extra, the smoothies could be spiked with supplements like ginseng, vitamin C or green tea. These are additions that people would be willing to pay more for.
These are just a few of the concerns that need to be addressed when starting a smoothie business. Making smoothies is easy but the real challenge is being able to establish the brand. Despite the hard work and dedication required, being in the smoothie business is worthwhile. Profiting is only half the reward. The most satisfaction comes from helping people become healthier.
Doing business is one part of your concern and it is always on the top of your mind. You may keep thinking about your business even while it is growing. However some people fail to make thing serious and end up in failure or even crash their business. To be successful in business is not easy. You may fail to complete order on time that you have to break your promise and end up in paying compensation.
Growth can cause loss control. To gain control of the business, we need to know the reason of the growth and look back at yourself to see if your stuffs are qualify with the growth so you can deliver on promise.
Once we grow, it means we have more stuffs, more customers, more products and more orders. Your stuffs are low qualified and your materials are limited meaning that we don't get economies of scale. All we get are more and bigger headaches. Loss of control happens when the complexity outruns our ability to manage. At that point something has to change, and we either choose to change our business or our business chooses to change without us having much of a say. To grow the business we have to both simplify our business and improve our ability to manage.
What we can do to handle the problems?
I would like to share with you two ways to handle this problem. The first step is to set a clear discipline. Range your employees, for example A, B, C and D according to their qualification. You must have standard criteria and get rid of those who fail. This can be done easily if you keep your emotion a part but you may blame yourself of the activities you have done.
The second step is to train. No one born with ability but you can enhance their ability by training them. This is a hard process and slow so you may result in stepping backward while your competitors are moving forwards. Anyway if you can handle this crisis you will get many honest employees who wish to work for you with their best.
To sum this up, many managers choose the first step as they see the opportunities right in front of them and they may not get those opportunity back if they skip this one.
As a businessman, you should take your overall concentration on your customers. Always bear in mind that the customers are GOD and they can't be rejected. No matter what it takes you must satisfy their needs and wants. It is very important to boost your small business profit with your existing customers. Business is very competitive and they have a wide range of choices and they can turn away from you any time they want. If you fail to attract new customers, you must have a hard time and if you can even keep your existing customers, you are now in a dead lock. Fast find the reasons why they just turn away from you. Is it your problem or your competitors are launching any special marketing? In case, it is your problem then figure it out as quick as possible and bring any special offer to take those customers back to your store.
Many people may say that they know their customers while they are not. Ask yourself, WHO ARE YOUR CUSTOMERS? Knowing customers does not know their names, where they live or what they do. Of course it is hard to know your customers in a short period of time so your fist key is to let them know you first by being friendly. If you are a kind of person who has too much work then you should have a quick note of some special customers who they are more likely to be your honest customers.
Next you may start to ask yourself again, WHAT DO THEY BUY AND THEN WHY? Knowing what your customers buy can be so helpful to your business by introducing related products to them. It can increase your chance to get your products sold. Alright now why they buy your product? I repeat again there are many competitors within the same industry as you are standing now but why you? Is it because your price is 10% lower than your competitors? It can’t feature out easily without a good survey. Business is all about money so do not afraid to pay for those surveys if you really care about your business. Anyway if you have enough time, then you can go around and learn about it by yourself.
How to track your customers?
It is very important to have a data record of your customers with ways to contact them. The more customers record you have the better it is. This is the best way to keep your customers bind with your shop. Remember that do not be too hard with this direct marketing. They will be back to your store if they want to and if you are pushing too hard, they also having a hard time reading many of your direct marketing and even find it annoying.
All in all you must know your customers as soon as possible. If you don’t, you should DO IT NOW.
AAA company has come up with a gross revenue to the public to tell everyone about what they have made before paying taxes, interest, depreciation and amortization. The cash you earned are not FREE. Once other investors look at AAA company annual report, investors would think that this company is absolutely one of their target and it appears to be growing in leaps and bonds.
Seem like the happy time is over when the bank, bondholders and IRS just come to get their money back. Every company has to pay taxes, interest, depreciation and amortization. That is the point. Their is no place to hide. AAA company has to pay bills by sharing those from its gross revenue. If the company fails to pay those bills, they can force bankruptcy.
Here is thing actually works:
The gross revenue of $32,000 annually to pay $12,200 taxes each year, current mortgage payment of $1,300 per month, and student loan payment of $300 per month.
That is not all and you will see the big problem soon. Even the man keeps ignoring what he has to pay back but his creditors may not forget. Of course where is their money? Let's assume that all payment has been done so AAA company has only $700 to live with. That's not enough; his man just comes in as ask for $800 bill for office repairing. Depreciation just begins and soon the maturity date of bonds are about to come.
In the real business world, AAA company is absolutely a useless company who try to masked itself. Usually this action is done by a cleaver man but usually caught. Do not try to fool people since their is no place to hide and no where to run.
Actually this is just an old book which was written since 1999. Within this book, you can:
- The nature of a memtoring relationship and its effect of the participants
- Function of mentoring programmes serve in organisation
- How can organisation struture mentoring programmes to best pursue their objectives?
Download this book now!
When you are just starting out with TIG(tungsten inert gas), there are many things to remember. Keeping everything together in a new situation is no small thing and mistakes are bound to happen. If you know some of the common mistakes that happen when people are new to this type of system, it may help to ease the learning curve.
Here are some things to watch for:
- Electrode size -an electrode gets really hot on a/c at 250 amps. Do not use the same size electrode on DCEN. If it is tried with the wrong electrode, it will at some point explode.
- Aluminum welding-make sure to set to high frequency to continuous-the system will lose halfcycles as the direction of the current changes in AC.
Make sure to just round the electrode- creating a ball is overkill.
- Watch how far your electrodes sticks out-you have to be able to see the end of the electrode otherwise, you can't be sure about the arc. The electrode should be extended far enough to see the tip easily.
- Argon-if the arc is really loud , check the argon flow . A 7/16" TIG cup should be set at about 13-15 CFH depending on how far the electrode needs to be extended. More torch gas in a gas welder system is not better.
- Tungsten- don't use pure tungsten. Use a multipurpose electrode that works for AC and DCEN. 2% lanthanated works well.
- Torch Angle-watch the angle of the dangle if you don't want a puddle
- Length of the Arc-find that spot where the arc will be close enough to do the job and time will be spent using the gas welder and not preparing electrodes.
- Filler rod size- Too big of a rod can stop the shielding force of the gas and serious heat will be lost from the puddle. A rod that is too small and the rod will just melt before it makes it to the puddle.
- Use a stainless steel wire brush-not carbon steel. It will save a lot of headaches later
If you spend some time watching out for some of the TIG welding "Gotchas", you will save time and money.
Faye Herl writes The Welding Review at http://www.theweldingreview.com
One of the reasons that the rest of the company doesn't seem to really like those of us in the IT department is because we seem to make everything so much more complex when we get involved. First it was our networking issues (Frame Relay, ATM, Ethernet), then it was our server issues (multicore, Intel vs. AMD, caching), and lately it seems to be software design (SaaS, Cloud Computing, Web 2.0). When will this ever end?
Have we screwed things up? Is the CFO and the rest of the financial side of the business correct when they accuse us of buying the latest technology just to play around with it? It turns out, that everyone is probably just a little bit correct this time around.
So here's the scoop: yes, information technology IS becoming more complex. Sorry about that. The reason that IT is becoming more complex is because the world in which we work is becoming more complex. I mean think about it, everyone is going global, expanding (yes,even now), and developing new technologies. What's an IT'er to do?
The so-called "traditional" ways of managing IT no longer work. Now to be fair to us, we have made a lot of progress in simplifying the stuff that we already have. We've been hard at work standardizing and consolidating IT infrastructure and it's starting to show results. But then there's that SOA thing...
Server and storage virtualization has definitely been a double edged sword. It has reduced the number of boxes that we mange, but how we manage the ones that we've got has become more complex. The same can be said for all of the new-fangled software architectures that we've been dreaming up: SaaS, SoA, Cloud Computing, Web 2.0, etc. These new approaches to assembling software components help us to meet regulatory needs and better ensure data security; however, they sure seem to use an unnecessary number of acronyms to get the job done!
When you introduce mobility into the mix, you've just about sealed the deal. Trying to support a wide range of devices that were never designed to work together, getting legacy apps to talk to mobile devices, and keeping everything secure makes life even more complex.
Great, so the world is becoming more complex, IT is becoming more complex, and everyone thinks that we're just sitting around playing with hi-tech toys. How can we possibly stay on top of all of this complexity? Here are five suggestions on how a hard working IT person can actively keep complexity to a minimum in your life:
1. Standardize: Simplify your life by standardizing everything that you can get your hands on. Once you've done this, start to consolidate as much as you can.
2. Get More Bang For Your Buck: make sure that you are spending your IT time and money where it's going to produce the greatest return. Too much time spent on the wrong things will just make life that much more complex.
3. Prune - Don't Cut: There will always be times when the IT budget needs to be cut back. When these times arrive, don't do wholesale across the board cuts, instead trim projects as needed. You may even boost budgets of critical projects.
4. Use What You've Got: Make sure that the rest of the company has access to the IT assets that you already have. Putting information online and providing access to enhanced analytical tools can go a long way in showing IT's value to the rest of the organization.
5. Outsource Only When Necessary: Outsourcing does not simplify things, rather it creates more management complexity. If you are too quick to outsource work, then you'll find yourself sitting on top of a management nightmare.
Dr. Jim Anderson
Dr. Jim Anderson has spent over 20 years consulting with a wide variety of IT firms from the very big to the very small. He provides you with his insights into the leadership needed to combine the separate worlds of business and IT strategy. His guidance offers hope to firms everywhere who are struggling with this challenge.
Oh, and if you want to follow Dr. Anderson on Twitter, he can be found at: http://twitter.com/drjimanderson
If there is one particular advertising medium that has been in the industry for a long time now, it would be the newspaper. Newspaper advertising has indeed been extremely effective in providing updates - whether these be about new events or just plain classified ads. One particular reason why this medium is so effective is the fact that it has the ability to take just about any form. Add to that the fact that so many people prefer to use the newspaper when they want to advertise just about anything - property they're selling, a particular job position that they want filled, even personal ads! This is precisely why newspaper advertising measures have to be implemented so that the newspaper company would also have the ability to measure its own performance. This is important in maintaining positive performance and fostering progress at the same time.
To come up with an accurate measurement system here, there is then a need to develop what are known as KPIs or key performance indicators. These are quantifiable measures used to measure how far along the enterprise is when it comes to achieving its goals and objectives. With the KPIs in place, it would then be easier for the enterprise to keep track of its performance as well as the direction that it is taking. If it finds itself taking the direction that it wants to take, then well and good. However, if it finds itself dwindling, then the KPIs will show this in figures and will prod the enterprise to take action. More importantly, the enterprise itself will be able to determine the key areas that are in dire need of improvement, which would make them better equipped to come up with the needed solutions.
Given this purpose, it is clear how any newspaper company would need to have these measures put into place. However, do not make the mistake of copying the KPIs being used by your fellow newspaper companies. Even if you do belong to the same industry and you have more or less the same type of operations and functions, you do not really have the same goals and objectives that you want to accomplish. Remember that your measures should be in accordance to what you established to achieve in the first place.
If you are not too sure about what measures to use, then do some research online. The internet is filled with valuable materials that you can use in coming up with your own measures. As always, keep your goals in mind so do not be afraid of customizing your KPIs as needed. But just for a bit of guidance, the commonly used metrics in the field would include cost per response and size of the newspaper ad. The size of the ad, in particular, is one KPI that is used by most newspaper companies. How effective the ad is in grabbing attention would understandably depend on its size. Thus, this makes it a worthy KPI to be included in the batch.
There are many more newspaper advertising measures that you can choose from. Go for the relevant ones and you will have no trouble measuring and maintaining performance.
If you are interested in Newspaper Advertising Measures, check this web-site to learn more about newspaper advertising measure.
Federal government grants for small business can assist you to expand or start your business enterprise and achieve your business plan. The government can give you grants worth $50,000 and above, depending on your business strategy or plan. You must follow some procedure and terms by filling necessary documents before grants can be given to you.
You can get cheap loans to start a business apart from federal government grants. There are many charity organizations and financial institutions that can give funding to entrepreneurs with the objective of assisting them to be successful in their industry. Make sure you do detailed research on different type of grants information to get the best grants programs that is suitable to you and your business concern. Read the eligibility requirements carefully before taking any loan or grants. Some grants programs are for specific business opportunities, grants for small business for women and other business ventures.
Ensure that you have a comprehensive business plan. This will contain an overview of your business resources, marketing and sales forecast, competitive analysis, price audit and market demand. Make sure you get your business plan ready before you apply for any grant or loan. This will offer the best possible presentation of your business grant application and enhance quick approval. The authority will need some level of assurance that you can properly handle the cash if given to you or manage your business effectively.
Lastly, the approval process varies from a particular grant to another but government grants for small business tend to pay strict attention to rules and procedures. If you use the money judiciously and according to the grant terms, you will not be asked to pay back the funds or loans and the grants is tax free.
For more information about how to get government grants for small business, please visit Grants-For Small Business or Starting a Business.
With the Age of Information comes, inevitably, a growing backlog of expired records and documents. The longer your business thrives, the more paperwork is certain to build up and cramp your storage facilities. If you are expedient enough to transfer the most pertinent data to your computers, paper becomes obsolete. However, items like payroll records and personal information aren't so expendable that they can simply be tossed. It's important to make sure everything generated in your offices doesn't leave it unless they are completely illegible.
Depending on the size of your business, you may consider outsourcing your document destruction tasks to a mobile shredding service. This type of company will come to you, usually in a large panel truck equipped with heavy-duty shredding equipment that easily destroys computer disks and hardware in addition to bulk papers. Mobile shredding companies specializing in large-scale document shred jobs for banks, insurance companies, and anyone in need of obliterating private data that could otherwise be used for identity theft and fraudulent purposes. The work of a mobile shredder differs from a simple office shredder in that not only is the equipment more sophisticated and capable of large jobs, but mobile shredding services also handle the recycling of all material collected.
Before hiring a service to handle your document destruction needs, research which companies are available in your area and are located within driving distance. Due to fuel concerns, some companies may not send a truck a long distance if they perceive the work is not great enough to make up the difference. Some shredding services will also add a fuel surcharge onto the bill, so it's best to ask in advance. Ask if employees with the company are bonded and licensed to operate the machinery, and given the sensitive nature of your paperwork you should check to see if the company is franchised or connected to a known national chain or is affiliated with the Better Business Bureau.
When you are ready to hire your mobile shredding service with whom you are comfortable, you can rest assured your papers are in good hands, and that the information contained within is safe.
Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on Virginia Beach shredding services and Virginia Microsoft NAV consultants.
The organization's Board of Directors is responsible for evaluating the performance of the chief executive officer. Boards who are not taking this function seriously are making a big mistake. Skipping performance reviews tells the CEO that he/she is not valued enough to warrant such an investment of time, energy, and effort by his/her supervisors. This is a poor message to send the person who bears all of the burdens of a company or agency.
Sometimes Boards ignore evaluations because they simply don't know how to conduct them. The purpose of this article is to provide critical tips around both process and content related to assessing the work of the individual in charge. If YOU currently serve on a Board-regardless of whether the organization is large or small, make sure the following are happening:
1. Evaluate the CEO on an annual basis without exception.
Ideally, CEO evaluations should be handled by the Executive Committee and scheduled for the same time each fiscal year. Year-end is a good time to do them, for example. There are times when evaluations need to occur more frequently, however. At the conclusion of a new hire's probationary period (whatever length of time that is) the first evaluation should occur. Within three months of an unsatisfactory annual review another evaluation should take place to follow up on progress made pertaining to serious deficiencies. Giving a poor or questionable evaluation to a CEO and then failing to put forth standards for expected changes and corresponding time frames for demonstrating those changes is unacceptable behavior on the part of the Board.
2. Incorporate a self-evaluation into the overall process.
The Board's Executive Committee needs to decide upon meaningful foci for the CEO's self-evaluation. This needs to be done well in advance of evaluation process implementation. Suggestions for content include: discuss in writing how well the strategic plan objectives have been met during the year, reasons for not meeting particular objectives, specific struggles encountered in the position and how those may be overcome, and personal barriers to success on the job. A secure Board may even ask the CEO to evaluate his/her relationship with the Board of Directors, discussing what is working effectively and what could be improved from that person's viewpoint. Most Boards, unfortunately, are not open to this sort of candid feedback.
3. Seek input from employees representing various layers of the organization.
Members of the Executive Committee can conduct twenty minute face to face or telephone interviews with a sampling of the staff to gain insight into how folks experience the CEO firsthand on a regular basis. This piece of the process is critical. Because the Board is somewhat removed or totally removed from day to day operations, they should spend time with the people who know what is actually happening. Frequently, Boards skip this piece, and it's a mistake to do so. It's difficult to evaluate somebody from fifty miles away. Meeting with staff allows the Board to get an up close and personal view of reality.
4. Measure CEO performance primarily against the job description, job standards, and the strategic plan.
While these three documents provide the meat for evaluating any CEO, the rub lies in how comprehensive and clear they are in the first place. Incomplete, poorly constructed documents can lead to an ineffective, useless, and potentially disastrous evaluation. The Board needs to make sure that they are reasonable, well written, and relevant to the current work environment BEFORE trying to measure CEO performance against them. Otherwise it is unfair to the executive. If a Board has a certain expectation of the CEO, it better appear in one of these documents. Inventing expectations at the last minute - apart from what's on paper - isn't credible.
5. Assess how well the CEO grows other people.
Leadership is more than meeting or exceeding revenue/profit goals. How much and how well does the executive invest in the company's employees? Exactly what does that investment look like? Or isn't it happening at all? Do people feel motivated to excel in their jobs? Are they recognized for outstanding contributions? Are they given appropriate freedoms? Are they given the opportunity to voice their creative ideas? Are they granted permission to attend professional development workshops and seminars and then share what they've learned? A Board can find out the answers to these questions simply by asking the staff.
6. Examine the CEO's interpersonal skills and their effect upon the organization.
A Board needs to know how well their chief executive officer interacts with others, if he/she praises others and makes them feel valued, how he/she criticizes people, if he/she engages in personal interest conversations with them, if he/she can inspire employees to reach for the stars. A CEO tool box lacking effective interpersonal skills strongly implies that this particular CEO may not work out at this particular company or any company for that matter. In fact, interpersonal skills count for a great deal when one looks at the whole package. Whether an extrovert or an introvert, the CEO has to be able to get along with others in all sorts of situations.
7. Check the CEO's ability to manage conflict, risk, and organizational change.
This area cannot be overlooked or minimized. Most Boards know what's going on here just by the nature of Board work. How does the CEO deal with conflict between him/herself and another Board member? Between Board members themselves? What observations can be made? How does the CEO present various risks and upcoming changes to the Board? Does he/she face them head-on or shy away from such discussions? Again, what does the Board observe here? CEOs give many clues about their performance during Board meetings as well as during less formal interactions with individual Board members. The key is that the Board has to pay attention to those clues. Sadly, many folks "sleep" in Board meetings, ignore definite signs of trouble, or tend to go along with the crowd when opinions are voiced. Why? It's easier to function like this than to pay close attention, take a stand, express a different view, and/or truly get involved.
8. Identify the CEO's efforts to develop him/herself personally and professionally.
It's tough to grow others if the CEO is doing nothing to grow him/herself. Does the CEO value growth in general? Is he/she reading trade magazines, attending seminars, conferences, and workshops, joining professional groups, networking with other executives? Is he/she seeking a mentor and/or mentoring someone else? Has he/she considered the benefits to hiring a coach? A therapist if necessary? Boards may think these things aren't their business, but they are wrong. All of these things are Board business. Who wants a chief executive who pooh-poohs personal and professional development? When this type of a person heads up an organization, watch out! Whatever happens-or doesn't happen-at the top trickles down throughout the multiple layers of the company and has a huge impact.
9. Develop a corrective action plan that addresses cited deficiencies.
Just talking about what isn't working can never be enough. The Board Chair needs to include deficiencies in the written evaluation, discuss them clearly with the executive, AND create an action plan for correcting problems and/or developing important skills that are currently lacking. An action plan serves as a road map. It is something the Board can use to measure progress over the next few months. Ideally, the CEO buys into the plan and is motivated to make the changes the Board desires. Some negotiation may occur, depending upon the issues. Both the CEO and the Board Chair should then sign the action plan to seal the deal, so to speak.
10. Establish an evaluation environment that invites dialogue.
The formal evaluation of the CEO should never be a one-way communique from the Board Chair. It is not a diatribe or a thesis to be delivered without comment. The Board Chair is not a dictator. The Board Chair is a facilitator of information that, in the best scenario, leads to positive growth for the executive and improvement for the organization at large. The evaluation process must not become a power struggle between the two people. When that happens, much is lost. A great strategy plays out like this: the Board Chair relays an observation about something and asks the CEO how he/she views that same thing. Where do the differences lie, if any exist? Discussion focuses upon the differences in perception. In cases where the gap is wide, both individuals need to hammer out what each can live with in order to reach some kind of consensus around how to move forward. But evaluations are not contests where one person wins and the other loses. A savvy Board Chair understands this and conducts him/herself accordingly.
Sylvia Hepler, Owner and President of Launching Lives, is an executive and career coach/advisor based in South Central Pennsylvania. She connects with clients primarily by phone with in-between emails if desired. Her ideal clients are senior level corporate executives and nonprofit executive directors who are willing to commit to working steadily and diligently to move from their current status of stuckness to greater clarity, improved self-confidence, increased skill, and deeper sense of purpose. Her mission is to support executives as they get unstuck, reduce unnecessary suffering, and increase balance in their lives. Ms. Hepler's background includes: teaching, public speaking, retail sales, freelance writing, and executive leadership of a 14 county nonprofit organization. She has a working knowledge of staff supervision, Board development, Quality Management, SWOTT Analysis, the hiring and firing of employees, mission/vision development, networking, and organizational collaboration. Ms. Hepler demonstrates keen insights into human behaviors, exceptional ability to prioritize projects and tasks, and bulls eye skill around matching appropriate communication strategies with particular situations. Her deep empathy coupled with a no-nonsense approach yields swift, noteworthy results with most coaching clients. PRODUCTS: Ms. Hepler has written a "Special Report" entitled, "FIVE FATAL FLAWS in EXECUTIVE THINKING", produced an audio CD on "making change", and launched a monthly tele seminar series called "Solutions By Sylvia". CONTACT: Sylvia@launchinglives.biz 717-761-5457
In this book, we examine the basic threads that form a complex mesh in which business and industry, in the developed world, must function. The basic threads are historical, political and technological but there are numerous other threads. Leadership, aspiration, complacency and inefficiency are also threads, sometimes invisible and other times difficult to quantify, partcularly when they pertain to organisations, such as industries, universities and governement bureaucraxies, that have evolves over centuries.
* The Universal Executive and the Astral Executive
* The Overhead Industry
* The Computer Devolution
* To Exist or Not to Exist
* Paralysis and Academic Analysis
* Tinker, Retailer, Inventor, Attorney, Consultant
* Error-Free Zones
* Formularizing the Future
This eBook is available for free at http://www.doctortee.net/.
Download it now:
* Title Page and Table of Contents and about the book
* Chapter 1
* Chapter 2
* Chapter 3
* Chapter 4
* Chapter 5
* Chapter 6
* Chapter 7
* Chapter 8
* Chapter 9
The best coffee shops tend to have a number of different features that help make them a success. Some are easy to recreate, others require more work if you are thinking of owning a coffee shop or starting one up. So here's a list.
1) Location. The best coffee shops are where people need them to be! This may sound obvious, but things like looking at where people gather, what are the main commuter routes into and out of your town or city all bring dividends in terms of having potential customers to get through the doors.
2) Service. People are becoming more discerning as they work on a smaller budget but they don't want to give their daily treat up. So what keeps them coming back? Often as not, it will be that individual touch from baristas and others who take that little extra time to ask how you are, and ideally, remember your chosen coffee.
3) Design. The best coffee shops allow a flow of people which means steady income, yet channels them cleverly through the shop so there are not snaking queues which people are having to work their way through to get a seat. Carefully nursing your big 16 oz coffee while you step through queues and round laptop bags is a recipe for disaster on so many levels.
4) Atmosphere. Producing a good atmosphere is perhaps the least "scientific" thing on this list, and what people like in an atmosphere is wildly different. Warmth and friendliness are common themes, but types of music in the background and so on are very much an individual taste. The best coffee shops though, just have that vibe you can sense on entering.
If you are thinking of opening a coffee shop then careful thought about these four factors will give you a much better chance of success.
More secrets and tips on the best coffee shops can be found here, along with proven ideas to get you opening a coffee shop successfully.
A look at today's franchise candidates will reveal they are more sophisticated, better educated, and more technologically advanced than ever before. In addition, and even more so because of the economic downturn, they are extremely cautious.
Today's candidates are spending more time researching opportunities, and doing so at a much slower pace. In order to be diligent in the process, more time is spent online pouring through page after page of information, constantly bookmarking, and moving back and forth from new information to saved information. They're comparing notes with other franchise candidates on social networking sites. As well, they're gaining invaluable insight monitoring online discussion groups and forums.
Ultimately, today's franchise candidates desires, needs, to be certain the franchise opportunity is as close to perfect for his or her situation, as humanly possible. In the past, and especially after previous recessions, franchise candidates took their capital gains and invested in a franchise opportunity. Many times leaving the principal investment untouched. There was a sense of throwing caution to the wind because they were investing profits. Many times ungodly profits, at least by today's standards. Does anyone remember when money markets kicked out 17% profit margins?
Unfortunately, many individuals looking at franchise opportunities today are looking at things differently. They have to. Many are transitioning corporate executives staring at the back end of illustrious careers trying to squeak out just ten more years before retirement. Facing the challenge of younger talent, new technology, and a rapidly changing business environment, many opt to "buy" a job and explore franchising and small business ownership.
Here's the difference between today's recession, and of those in the past. As huge fortunes have been lost, and large gains have not been realized in current financial markets, today's candidates are forced to invest all or part of their remaining nest egg in order to enter the world of business ownership. Of course, everyone knows and fully understand the risks involved in owning a business. But in yesterday's business environment, many franchisees and business owners were "gambling" with profits.
Certainly, no one wanted to lose money in a business venture. But, many had fallback positions with funds still in retirement accounts and of course, if they had to, employment. For many of today's candidates, failure is not an option because fallback opportunities are fast becoming non-existent. Actually, I believe many of today's candidates might not have even considered franchise or small business ownership in the past.
So, as many individuals explore their options, they will focus more and more of their efforts online. Franchisors must embrace this fact, and dedicate more resources to the internet and look to social media to complement, not replace, their traditional franchise marketing strategies. By doing so, they'll realize multiple benefits for their entire system including:
- Creating or further developing brand awareness with franchise candidates and consumers alike
- Generating franchise leads that are genuinely interested in exploring what franchising and small business ownership has to offer, and how a particular concept may be the vehicle to achieve their goals and objectives
- Establishing an interactive environment of communications and information sharing that will become the backbone of future franchise relationships throughout franchise systems
Last, it used to be that many franchise candidates viewed franchising and small business ownership as a way of achieving their wishes, hopes and dreams, regardless of what they may have been. Today, it's more about goals and objectives, and necessities. We, as an industry need to fully realize this, and understand the mindset of today's franchise candidate.
Paul Segreto is President, CEO and Founder at franchisEssentials with over twenty years' senior level management, marketing and development experience exclusively within the franchising industry. Paul can be contacted by email at email@example.com. Company website can be viewed at http://FMDpro.com.
Managers get things done through other people. They delegate primarily because it makes their job easier. If they try to do everything themselves, they become unnecessarily burdened; their performance and health deteriorate; they fail to develop their staff adequately; and, in time, the organization will suffer. Indeed, many writers believe that the ability to delegate is the main distinguishing feature between good and bad managers. Knowing how to delegate is, therefore, a crucial management and leadership skill.
1. From your prioritized jobs, select one to delegate.
List in priority order those tasks you might consider delegating. To qualify for this list, a task should be taking too much of your time, be not strictly related to your key role, be rather routine, be appropriate and challenging for another staff member, or be better undertaken by someone with more appropriate skills or knowâ€'how than yours. The purpose of delegating is not just to dodge work or to unload unrewarding, tedious, or difficult tasks-nor should you retain only the jobs you enjoy. Select a task that could and should be delegated.
2. Define clearly for yourself the task to be delegated.
Clarify in your own mind the task to be delegated. Think through the task so that you can outline it clearly. For example, be able to provide details of:
• the expected results or product
• how the task might be approached
• subâ€'tasks within the overall task
• the limits of authority
• the necessary time lines
• how you will know the task is done
• what resources will be required
• what training might be necessary.
Understand the task fully yourself so that you will later be able to brief a staff member thoroughly.
3. Select the right person for the job.
As a good manager, you should be aware of the strengths and limitations of your staff and delegate accordingly. Ideally, the person you choose should have the ability, knowledge, skills, enthusiasm, talent, and time needed to get the job done. Unfortunately, such qualities are not always found in the one person. So, before selecting someone, ask yourself:
• Who has the necessary skills?
• Who would be most challenged?
• Who would learn most? Who would benefit least?
• Does the task require previous experience? Will training be needed?
• What particular personal qualities are needed? Who has them?
• Who can be trusted to do the job?
• What other workloads does that person have?
• Is more than one person needed? If so, can they work together successfully?
• Who would enjoy a job like this? How will others react?
Delegation to the right person should improve skills, morale, and esteem.
4. Conduct a thorough briefing.
In handing over the assignment, be prepared to set aside adequate time in private to communicate clearly:
• the scope of the task
• the specific results required
• the time schedule and deadlines
• the available resources
• the authority needed to carry out the job
• how performance can be measured
• sensitive or risky aspects of the task
• reporting procedures
• your confidence in the person you select.
Ask for feedback and encourage questions to eliminate any confusion.
5. Delegate appropriate authority.
When you give people a job, make sure you tell them how much authority you are handing over. For example:
• 'Look into the problem; suggest three solutions; and I'll choose the best.'; or
• 'Look into the problem; tell me how you plan to solve it; and do so unless I tell you otherwise.'; or
• 'Solve the problem and tell me when you're finished.'
Set parameters and establish controls to ensure this authority and the accompanying power will be properly used. If necessary, inform other relevant staff.
6. Keep lines of communication open.
When you delegate, you do not abdicate responsibility: you must maintain some control over the project. At least, agree to have your delegate inform you only when things are not going according to plan. Be accessible but not meddlesome. The delegate should make the first contact.
7. Monitor progress unobtrusively.
Keep an eye on your delegate's progress without intruding. If necessary, confirm in advance how often progress is to be reported. As the delegate gains confidence, tactfully withdraw-but remain alert for problems. Help if asked to do so.
8. Reward performance.
Appreciate a job well done by recognizing good work privately and publicly. Sincere recognition will increase your effectiveness in working with others.
9. Delegate as part of a master plan.
Review the project on its completion to make sure your delegate has also gained from the task. See delegation as part of the planned growth of your staff. Through delegation, they grow in confidence; and they-and your organization- will benefit in the long run.
Dr Neil Flanagan provides access to essential management know-how for busy people on the move. A FREE gift awaits you every time you visit management2go.com and you can take advantage of your FREE e-Topic and newsletter that will keep you informed about everything management. And if you'd like more information about issues raised in this article, you can go to http://www.management2go.com/products/Delegation.html
What is an organizational chart, and why is it important to your business? You may be asking those questions. If you are, then consider this information, because the chart is actually quite important and you will need to consider many things when creating one.
Chances are, you have already seen or heard of an organizational chart in the past. It is a flow chart of sorts that lists the positions of all employees at your company, and lists them in order from top to bottom. An organizational chart will show the chain of command for all employees.
Why is it important? It is vital that all employees know to whom they answer directly. They also need to know who is their ultimate boss, so that they always know who to go to when there are concerns, requests or questions.
One thing that can cause a big problem in a company is confusion. If you allow confusion to persist, your employees will lose moral and it could greatly affect their work and eventually lead to them leaving. An organizational chart is an excellent way to avoid confusion among current employees and help new employees get an idea of the chain of command.
Even if you have a very small business with only a few employees, an organizational chart is still vital. Often, in extremely small businesses, the chain of command can become confused. By providing your employees with a specific chart, you will be able to keep these problems at bay.
When you begin the process of making your organizational chart, there are some things that you will need to consider very carefully. The main purpose of this chart is to show who each employee's direct supervisor is.
If you do not already have an exact chain of command in place, then you will have to take some time considering just how it should go. What people need to answer directly to you? Are there people in your business who are responsible for other employees? Do you have supervisors or managers?
You will have to answer these questions before you begin the process of your organizational chart. You can also use the chart to spell out what exactly is each person's job responsibility.
You may want to include a short list of bullet points with each job title to show the main responsibilities. This means that you will need to take some time considering just what each employee does. This can be a great way to keep all job responsibilities in order and avoid confusion.
An organizational chart can be a great way to keep confusion out of any business. It can be helpful for small businesses especially, where lines can easily be blurred.
For more information on keys to success in business and free special reports for the start up business and the established small business, visit http://www.broshegroup.com. Melissa Evans, The Guru of Implementation SM and the author of a soon to be published book titled "Full Circle, a book for entrepreneurs thriving in today's economy" is the President and CEO of The Broshe Group, Inc. Melissa is passionate about helping people and businesses be their best while making money and enjoying life. Melissa is a no nonsense dynamic speaker, author, and business consultant and coach. She has experience spanning 15 years in different fields which includes health care, retail, manufacturing, banking, non-profit, technology, small business, education, foundations, etc.
THE BROSHE GROUP Inspire success. Achieve results.
Architects love to complain about their income. When times were good, we imagined ourselves hard done by in comparison to other professions. These days, when every trade and profession is suffering, we are no longer the solo performer but just another voice in the choir, despairing at reducing fees and vanishing jobs. The older Architects whom I know personally, get all misty eyed when they talk about a supposed golden age of never ending commissions and high fees. The times they refer to are the post-war decades leading up to the 1980's. During this time, they tell me that Architects (and other professionals) best fee earner was the Mandatory Fee-Scale.
Fee-Scales are lists, drawn up by professional bodies, that describe how much each member of that body must charge for a given type of job. For example, all dentists agreeing to charge £50 to remove a tooth, no dentist is allowed to charge any more or any less. This gives the consumer cost certainty, you know how much you will be charged and you know every dentist will charge the same, so you go to the dentist you prefer the most (or dislike the least). The same was true for Architects, we all agreed to charge the same rate for the same work, there was no competition.
Many Architects blame Margaret Thatcher for abolishing mandatory fee scales but in fact it began in 1977, before she came into power, the Monopolies and Mergers Commission started the process, not the Tories. The Office of Fair Trading stuck the boot in around 1986, ruling that Mandatory Fee Scales were anti-competitive. But even before that, in 1982, the RIBA changed the Mandatory Fee Scales to Recommended Fee Scales. It was around this time that the Architecture profession began what economists call, a race to the bottom. We began undercutting each other to win work. Whereas before, a consumer chose an Architect based only on their reputation and the quality of their work, now they can choose based on the cost of the service as well. Only in many cases they don't, they choose based on the cost of the service and nothing else.
Since the early 80's there has been a constant chorus of complaint from architects, that ever dwindling fees leads to poorer buildings and more dis-satisfied clients. This in turn, they say, has lead to Architects losing their financial and social status. According to these disgruntled designers, the solution is to re-introduce Mandatory Fee Scales. Of course this is illegal under UK and EU law, it's a dead end. For a profession famed for its creativity, this approach shows a remarkable lack of lateral thinking.
So what can we do to improve our income while also giving the consumer the benefit of choice? I suggest that each practise should clearly publish their Architects Fees for standard items of work.
Whether its the hourly rate charged for each member of staff or the fee for each type of service. This will give the public a clear idea of how much they will be charged and it will let others within the profession know where their fees fit in relation to other Architects. At present, the main way for an Architect to gauge how much to charge is to consult the Mirza and Nacey fees guides. This publication surveys Architects across the UK and publishes the going rate for most main types of work; residential, commercial, education, healthcare etc. It lists the fees charged on sliding scale with the construction costs, the more expensive the build the bigger the architects fee. The main report for this year costs £195. It tends to be bought by Architects and is not something the average consumer will purchase.
I publish my fees on my website, I state my hourly rate and I list the fees I charge for a Full Appointment and a Limited Appointment. I've had a mixed reaction to doing this, mixed in that clients love it and most other Architects are resistant. Discussing fees is still something of a taboo among the profession and how much each firm charges for its work is, In my experience, a closely guarded secret, even from their own staff. The current state of affairs does not fully protect the consumer, as it was supposed to. The ordinary consumer does not have easy and convenient access to fee information and, In my experience again, most ordinary people have a greatly inflated idea of the fees charged by a typical architect. Many of my clients are surprised and delighted at the level of service they receive, relative to the fees I charge.
If every Architects practise published their fees we would see a number of benefits:
1. More enquiries from ordinary people who would otherwise avoid Architects because they mistakenly believe we charge huge sums.
2. Less variety in the amounts being charged by Architects. If everyone within the profession knows how much their competitors are charging, there will be fewer practises charging very high or very low fees. The spread of fees will narrow.
3.Architects charging higher than average fees will have to justify this to clients.
4.Architects charging lower than average fees will have to justify this to their staff and any creditors, such as their bank.
5.The consumer, whether they be home-owners or property developers will have a convenient and easy guide to how much they can expect to be charged. This should encourage them to look at other factors in choosing an Architect, factors such as quality of work.
6.If an Architect wishes to undercut the competition, they can do so by a smaller margin. At present, it appears those who engage in under-cutting do so by massive margins because, in part, they don't know how much their competition are charging.
7.Architect will still be free to offer discounts to valued clients, the profession will still comply with the law, as publishing fees does not make those fees mandatory.
Niall Hedderman. Owner of Capital A Architectural Design, Edinburgh. http://www.capitalA.co.uk
Advertising & Marketing Communications spending is one of the first things companies decide to cut when faced with slowing sales. Advertising agencies have already started feeling the pinch. Ad people are anxious and scared as well. So, what do you do to survive this critical phase and come out victorious. You must fight back! Here is your survival guide:
1. Promote your agency more aggressively - Doing nothing only leads to failure. This moment is the test of your leadership. Go out there, and face the recession head-on. Promote your agency more aggressively than ever before. Relentlessly pursue new business leads. Re-negotiate costs with your vendors, IT providers and even with your landlord! Generate great business-building ideas for your existing clients. All these will fuel you and your agency with renewed energy.
2. Be there for the client - Do not take your clients for granted even for a single day. Make sure that you personally visit each of your clients in the same month. Your clients need your help like never before, for they're now seeking answers to kick-start their sales and get rolling. If their agency stands by them in this battle, enabling them to invent new solutions, they will most likely never forget you once the good times resurafce.
3. Create opportunities - Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. Don't wait for the chance. Meet as many people as possible. There is always an opportunity to capitalize on. Collaborate with your partners, tie up with complimentary service providers and forge strategic alliances. Remember, somewhere a potential client is planning to take advantage of the downturn. Keep your eyes and ears open. If you just sit back and wait for the next new-business win, you are simply waiting for a disaster to take over.
4. Think Smart. Work Harder - In your efforts to fight back the downturn, be sure your agency's work is as smart as it can be. Put in those extra hours. Ask yourself: Is the message as relevant today as it was six months ago? Is it as cost effective? Is there a better and perhaps cheaper medium to communicate the message? Maintain the integrity of your agency's work throughout these times, and you will surely earn the trust and respect of your clients.
5. Don't stop innovations - Slow client spending is not an excuse to go conservative with your work. Don't play safe. If you think you are going to hold on to your clients by being extra cautious with your work, you might give your clients an excuse to switch to another agency that will continue to take intelligent risks. Recession is the ideal time to innovate and experiment. Suggest media innovations. Try your hand and unleash your creativity online through blogs, social media and viral campaigns.
6. Improve internal communication - Do not sit quietly in your cabin and distance yourself from the staff. Get up and mingle with your staff and let them know what's going on with the agency. Feel the pulse of your own team. Better internal communication only makes the team stronger. Also, do not stop looking for the best talent. This economic downturn has put a lot of really good people on the street. Now may be a rare opportunity to upgrade your staff strength. Provide creative stimulation to engage your employees. Keep the spirits up to make sure that the happiness quotient remains high in your office.
7. Stay focused - Just because times are tough, your agency shouldn't move away from the strategic course you set. Be it a plan to differentiate your agency or expand into new services, stay true to your long term goals even if it takes a little longer for them to materialize. When the economy turns around, you'll have the wind at your back.
And finally don't forget: tough times never last, but tough people do.
Kashyap Pandya - Director, Synapse Marketing Consultancy Pvt Ltd. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have you been thinking about opening a dollar store, but been stopped cold in your tracks as you began to add up all the cash that is required to get your business up and running? Those costs do add up quickly when you start adding in costs associated with preparing the site, lease payments and deposits, merchandise inventory to fill an entire store, and everything else that is required. But there is another option to consider. Think about the possibilities associated with starting an online dollar store. You just might find this low start-up cost option is perfect for you and your situation.
Going online allows you to forget the expenses associated with a brick and mortar storefront. This is a perfect home based business. You can easily conduct business from a room in your home. All it takes is a computer and basic knowledge of how to set up your online storefront and then to perform the basic tasks associated with Internet marketing. What you don't know you can learn. Even better, you can outsource those tasks to seasoned experts. Getting to your business becomes a short walk to your home office.
Mandatory store hours disappear. Your online dollar store will be open and operating 24 hours per day, 7 days per week without you being required to be present. There's no more being there to open the store and then coming back to close the doors as your store closes for the day. Your business keeps making sales, even while you sleep.
Your new business won't require lots of employees. In fact it is quite possible to successfully operate an online dollar store with zero employees. The dollar store costs associated with payroll and related expenses are gone. The time and effort to properly manage and supervise your employees is no longer required. You are free to focus your efforts on the actions associated with growing your sales and profits.
Forget the tens of thousands of dollars you'd normally need to have tied up in inventory when opening a dollar store. Your online business can use the creative option of drop shipping, which allows you to hold on to your cash. Even better, a reputable drop ship company will warehouse the merchandise. They will then pull, pack and ship items to your customers as a part of their service. You don't face any of these costs until you actual make the sale to your online customers.
To your success when opening a dollar store!
Find out how you can open your own dollar store business
Bob Hamilton is an entrepreneur, author, writer, business consultant and trainer.
If you have been considering using printed mouse mats to promote your company, this article will help you to ensure you get best end product possible. You may know that there are many different types of mouse mats available for promotional use. These guidelines apply to the majority of styles and sizes.
The first thing to consider is whether you want screen printed mouse mats or a full colour design. If you are hoping to achieve an exact colour match of your logo, you will want to screen print your mouse pads. By screen printing, you can achieve an exact Pantone match of the colours in your logo. If, on the other hand, you are more interested in having a beautiful, colourful design, you will want to print in full colour. A very close, but not exact colour match of your logo will still be possible and you can have multi-coloured pictures printed on the mats. The full colour option is by far the most popular.
Once you have decided which printing technique is right for your requirements, it is time to get your artwork together. By following the below advice, you will achieve the best results while saving time allowing for a speedier delivery.
1. Screen Printing
• Supply an editable vector eps of your logo and design. If you are not sure what this is, contact your promotional gift supplier or designer. They should be able to assist you in getting your artwork in the correct format.
• Supply the design to be printed approximately 100% larger than the actual print areas. Your printer can then reduce the artwork down to fit onto the mouse mats.
• Ensure that all Pantone colours are supplied with the artwork! Failure to do so will delay your order and could result in missing your deadline.
• Please ensure that all of the fonts used in your logo and/or design are outlined. Failure to do this will delay the order if your printer does not have the font used on their system.
2. Full Colour Design
• Please ensure that your artwork is supplied in CMYK at a minimum of 300dpi.
• Ensure that all of the components used in your design are clearly identified. This includes, jpeg, tiff, pdf and eps files. All fonts used in the design should be supplied with the artwork.
3. Instructions Regardless of the Print Method
• Supply the design with a 5mm bleed. For those of you who are not familiar with this term, it means to extend your design by at least 5mm. This will ensure that the design fits correctly on the mouse mats when they are dye-cut so that the design does not stop before the edge of the mouse mat.
• Please ensure that all of the fonts used in your logo and/or design are outlined. Failure to do this will delay the order if your printer does not have the font used on their system.
Dan Toombs is the Managing Director of CompuGift Limited, the UK's first internet based promotional gift supplier. The company was established in 1997 and is a leading supplier of promotional business gifts to businesses in the UK and Europe. CompuGift's mouse mats can be viewed at http://www.compugift.co.uk/_/promotional-mouse-mats.
NESMI, the Network on European Sustainable Mining and Processing Industries started its work in April 2002. To recall the situation in which NESMI was established, some background have is essential. The mining industry still has significant importance for the European economy as well as significant impact on its ecology and regional development. The mining and adjacent industries produce about 9% of the raw materials required for the whole European industry. In some mining branches such as brown coal or NaCl production the European mining industry represents from 20% to 25% of the worldwide production. Mineral production in the EU is about 3 000 million tons per year, the largest mass producer in European industry. In the Eastern European countries the mining industry has additional high importance for employment. About 900.000 employees are working in mining production and adjacent companies in the European countries.
Political context: EU policies and RTD
- Minerals in EU 25
- General EU policies of relevance
- EU communications
- Benefits of RTD in the mineral industries
- General context and state-of-the-art
- The EU and the extractive industry sector RTD
- Waste minimisation and resource management
- Ecological production and recycling
- Mineral processing and metallurgy
- Safety and health
- Education and training
The development of the RTD strategy
- Basic approach
- Collection of Information Needed
- Method of evaluation
- Basic statistics of the survey
- Identified competences and needs
- Research priorities and other actions
- Waste minimisation and resource management
- Ecological production and recycling
- Mineral processing and metallurgy
- Safety and health
- Examples from outside Europe
Initiating knowledge and technology transfer
- ESA workshop “Space Technologies and the Mining and Minerals Industry - DOWN TO EARTH –”
- NESMI-Workshop “Looking over the fence - new technologies for improved mining in Europe”
Improving education and training
- Efficient innovation management
- Funding Sources and procedures
- National Funding
- Other funding
- List of NESMI partners and associated members
If you are thinking of starting a home-based business a franchise is one option to consider. I owned both a franchise and a startup business of my own and there were benefits to having a franchise over starting one for yourself, but with this benefit there is a price. It's great to know the differences between the two before you start your business venture and to understand the positives and negatives of each. Hopefully in this article, I can help you identify which business model would be best for you.
Starting a franchise has many benefits, one of the major benefits is that they should have a system and/or process available to you from day one of opening your door. To me you cannot underestimate the value of having a process and system in place that works as your customers begin to arrive. This will save you hours and hours of frustration and will also add to your profits. You may ask yourself, how does the process or system do that well, take for example a sandwich shop that builds sandwiches for customers. When you don't know how to order the best meet at the cheapest prices and where to get the meat from, you guessed it, you will spend more money for each ingredient of that sandwich than you would if you already knew where to buy it. Or, another good example is dealing with employees. With a franchise, they will tell you what paperwork your employees will need for government accountability and without a franchise, you will have to figure that out.
So you can see from the list above that there are a number of items that a franchise can help you with that will save you frustration and hours worth of work. However there is a flipside to owning a franchise. Most franchises, you have to do everything as the franchise says that you must do it. So for example say you want to advertise in your local newspaper, but the franchise doesn't allow it, you will not be able to do so under the terms of your contract as a franchisee. Or, following the example above, maybe you found that your customers prefer a different type of meat for a sandwich, but your franchise doesn't provide it. They may keep you from using that meat just because it doesn't fit into the process or system of the franchise.
If you are considering starting a business and you have no previous business experience, owning a franchise would probably work best for you with the processes and systems available to you that will hopefully ensure a better chance of success. However, if you've already owned a business or was the manager of the business, you may be able to get by without buying a franchise and just figure it out for yourself. I recommend that you do your research and take a look at both options before you start a business. Be piece of advice I heard is, if you want to start a business, go work for a business just like it first so you can learn the ropes on someone else's dime.
For information on Roll Up Electric Piano try visiting our blog about Roll UP Piano Keyboard and more music news and reviews.
What would your impression be if a leader in your company violates policies and regulations? The same leader that demands everyone follows policies and is quick to take disciplinary action.
People that are in leadership positions have to consistently set the proper example for the entire team. You are being observed by everyone you are in charge of and when you violate rules they see it. It is an embarrassing situation to correct someone and ask why they didn't follow the rules and their reply being that they observed you doing it and thought it was ok. Leaders are paid to be the professional example for all to emulate and inspire others to pursue a position of leadership.
If you are in a leadership position then you have to understand the tremendous impact you have on your team. If you are an outstanding leader they will follow your example and strive to be in your position in the future. If you are a weak leader that sets a poor example then your team typically will have no respect for you and will look elsewhere for a leader to emulate.
Setting an example isn't only about policies and rules it is also about character, integrity, moral values and pride to name a few. The point I am trying to impress upon you is that a leadership position carries a magnitude of responsibilities with it. Leaders are responsible for developing the future leaders of the company, there is nothing more rewarding than watching a person you trained be promoted.
Ron Kirby is a world traveled educational and motivational speaker that has over 37 years of Leadership experiences in Corporate America and the Marine Corps. His passion is speaking on Leadership concerning Business Growth, Personal Development, Innovation, and Educational Experiences. Sergeant Major Kirby served 32 years in the United States Marine Corps deploying to over 40 countries and having the privilege of providing Leadership training in a myriad of cultures. Ron takes great pride in the fact he has contributed to the Leadership and promotion success for countless individuals during both his military and corporate career. Invite Ron to make your next event a smashing success! Contact him by phone at (843) 304-6111 or by email at RBKSR51@HOTMAIL.COM. Read more about his background at http://www.egSebastian.com/RonK
You should be able to distill your business plan onto a single sheet of paper. In fact, Business Optimization Strategist, Stephen Pierce says: "If a person cannot synthesise down to one piece of what is required of you to become successful then they probably don't know what the heck they're talking about."
Two multi-millionaire Internet Marketers have taken this concept a stage further. Forget about a single piece of paper. They are able to write their basic business plan on a napkin.
A billionaire business man once handed Matt Bacak a napkin and asked him to write out his business plan. Matt Bacak started to unfold the napkin but the business man shook his head. He helped Matt Bacak to condense his plan to just one corner of the napkin and the result is that he now regards his laptop as his ATM machine.
In 2006, a friend challenged Ryan Deiss to write out his entire business model on a single napkin - not one to shy away from a good challenge - Ryan Deiss obliged.
Right on the spot, in the bar at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, Texas he drew out his business model. It's a business model that has earned Ryan Deiss many millions of dollars and what he refers to as his "Million Dollar Napkin".
Now, naturally, you will need to flesh out your basic business plan so that you understand the details of what will make your business successful as well as being able to use your this document to raise capital, to recruit board members and to attract business partners. However, even then, you don't need to write a tome of information.
When individuals are faced with a big, thick document they become overwhelmed. The individuals who will need to read and refer to your business plan, and that includes you, are busy people. They want information presented to them in a manner that they can quickly and easily digest so that they can make timely decisions regarding the information they have read and take appropriate action.
As a business owner you will need to do the same. If you make your business plan too complex instead of being a work-in-progress that you refer to, update and refine on a regular basis, it will be a document that just gathers dust. An overly complicated plan is therefore counterproductive.
There is another drawback to having a long, over complicated rather than simple business plan. Such a document is likely to be very costly to produce from both a time and financial perspective. Remember, no business environment is static. If you take too long to produce your document it's likely that key elements of the information presented will no longer be relevant.
Another reason to stick to a simple business plan is so that your employees and team members do not feel intimidated by it. Their buy-in and understanding of the plan is as important as yours because they will be working with you to make your vision a reality.
For a comprehensive program that covers how to write a successful yet simple business plan and every other key element of starting and growing your business visit the Billionaire Business School.