September 2016

Whether you own a mom and pop corner shop or a worldwide software consultancy, customer loyalty is very valuable to you. Customer loyalty can be loosely defined as the predisposition of any given customer to purchase your goods or services over comparable ones available in the marketplace. When speaking of products (rather than services or the broader classification which includes both) it is often referred to as “brand loyalty.” Investing time and energy in promoting customer loyalty should be an integral component of any business’ marketing strategy. When business people think of “marketing” in general, they tend to focus on activities targeted at attracting new customers. While expanding your business’ customer base is a crucial undertaking which you must work towards with clearly defined goals, the importance of retaining existing customers mustn’t be overlooked. Working toward promoting customer loyalty (or brand loyalty) is critical to your goal for many reasons. A few of the most important reasons why customer loyalty is important to your business are outlined below.

Repeat Business

Loyal customers, almost by definition, will purchase your goods or services again and again over time. Depending on what type of business you have and what the sales cycle is like, you may end up selling more to one loyal customer in a year than you might to even 10 first time customers.

Greater Volume

As you build relationships with your loyal customers, it will become increasingly easy to sell to them in higher volumes. This may happen naturally, or you may choose to incentivize the process for your customers. In any case, higher volumes mean greater sales, which translates to higher overall profits.

Cross-selling Opportunities

Customers who exhibit brand loyalty have a relationship with your business. They trust you to provide quality products and customer service. This creates a great opportunity to fulfill more of your customers’ needs than the traditional ones you currently meet. What does this mean? You can make sales to loyal customers across product lines and thus increase your overall sales volume without needing to focus so much on attracting new customers.

Protects You From the Competition

The more loyal your customers tend to be, the safer you will be from the draw of the competition. Establishing strong brand loyalty can make you practically immune to competitive forces. This is especially important in places where new players enter the marketplace often.

Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Loyal customers can also bring you new customers. Customers that have great relationships with businesses tend to talk about it. Happy and satisfied customers who keep coming back to you are very likely to refer others who may need your product and/or services.

Benefit of the Doubt

Let’s face it; things go awry sometimes – even in the best businesses. Sometimes we get an order wrong, don’t meet a deadline, or aren’t able to deliver on promises made to customers. In today’s economy, it’s even easier for little hiccups such as these an others to take place in business. These types of …

To succeed in the business world is tough and especially if you are not too familiar with the different strategies which are needed to make a business successful. Accounting finance, bookkeeping, promotion, marketing, production and manufacturing are some of the strategies that you need to undertake for running a business successfully.

Accounting finance is something that any business needs to seek help with. If you are running a large scale business, there is no question that a separate department or outsourcing is needed. If a person is running a small scale business, they may be able to handle the accounting finance work themselves, but background knowledge is a must. Attempting to calculate these figures can be very time consuming and frustrating if the education or skills are not possessed.

Accounting finance will service a business by keeping a proper record of all the financial aspects of the business. Each business needs to keep a record of all the fiscal dealings that they do on a daily basis, as this is the only thing which will help in determining how good or bad the business is doing.

Often it happens that the person handling the accounting finance or the financial aspect of the business does not make it a habit to maintain all the financial records consistently, especially the small transactions that are done on a daily or weekly basis. It is very important to have all the things documented and it will be best if these things are written down because they are quickly forgotten.

Now accounting finance help is something that you cannot avoid and so you must make sure that you get the best professionals to do the work for you. There are many well-known firms that perform excellent accounting finance. Using a true army of dedicated, experienced personnel such firms have the capacity to deal with various financial accounts, engaging in bookkeeping and income tax services. The benefits of outsourcing the accounting finance helps in every aspect of a business, and this is the reason why there is a large surge in the number of business owners and entrepreneurs opening up to the idea of outsourcing the work.

The experience of professionals can help people understand and maintain their financial records in a more effective manner. With accounting finance services, one can learn the true basis of accounting and benefit from an advantageous tax system suitable for corporations. Their intention is to use all the available resources and trained staff to help deal with issues such as audit and budget possibilities. Using such a service, greatly assists in accomplishing a company’s clear objectives.

The strategy, which will be needed for maintaining the accounts of your business properly, is different for every business. Therefore, the professional who is offering accounting finance help to your business must make sure that he is fully aware of all the different aspects of your business. Then based on that, decide what will be the best way to handle the accounts and finance …

Planning to buy car insurance is really just easy but the situation is how to select the correct company. Some people have no single idea regarding how to do it while some are simply confused on which among the businesses should they go for. A lot of companies are there too which provides assorted interest rates. So the smartest thing to accomplish here is to collect lots of auto insurance quotes so it is also possible to match them. This way, choosing probably the most perfect insurance policy for the car could be done smoothly.

The best venue for clients get started on with these auto insurance quotes is nowhere else than the internet. A lot of insurance firms have created their websites which give and explains important information that revolves around their insurance policies. In order that you can lessen the doubts, you need to visit online companies that have reigned success for consecutive years. It is vital to choose those who have gained popularity and whose reliability will not disappoint you. Definitely they really are the safest and most perfect choices for auto insurance.

Once you visit their websites, it is also possible to come upon a web based insurance quote form that you are required to fill out in order that getting your quote from the company will likely be done. All you should do would be to type in some essential information that talks about yourself such us your name, address, etc. Right after filling out the form, the auto insurance quote will show up in a blink.

Aside from making use of the internet to know your auto insurance quotes, it is also possible to get them through approaching a good car insurance company. This step obviously requires you to exert effort making sure that requesting for the quote shall be done. Just exactly the same as what you are likely to do in the internet, you are likely to fill out a vehicle insurance quote form and supply some basic information. You will receive your quote once the company will post it. However, gathering car insurance quotes with the use of such step is indeed time consuming and you may not have the capacity to gather a lot. That is the main reason why the majority prefer to go online as compared with exerting too much effort without even getting assured.

You have to be aware of that vehicle insurance policies are not guaranteed by any auto insurance quotes. It only provides the chance to get an estimate with regards the car insurance policy. Gathering quotes gives you the chance to check them and you are required to select the very best among the businesses which provide the best interest rates.…

As I meet with new clients and friends every day, I commonly hear the same questions "What is a BCIN?" "When is a BCIN required?" Etc. Here is some clarification to the public on some important issues about choosing a company to provide you with plans. Please note that this information applies only in the Province of Ontario.

What is a BCIN?

A BCIN stands for 'Building Code Identification Number'. This number is assigned by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs & Housing, to successful applicants who have completed the requirements outlined in Division C Section 3.2 of the Ontario Building Code. There are two distinct types of BCIN number, individuals & firms. Individuals are people who have completed the exams and have received a BCIN from the MAH; However, they do NOT carry any insurance. As a result this limits the types of projects that the person can do. Firm BCIN's on the other hand MUST carry valid liability insurance, and depending on the amount of designs fees that a firm charges in a year will dictate the required amount of insurance coverage they must have. Insurance is expensive but it is there to protect you so avoid working with companies who do not have it. For most people, a home is your single largest asset; Do you really want to get plans from someone without insurance?

How do I know if I am choosing a registered company?

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs & Housing provides a database of all registered BCIN holders. The registry is available through a system called QUARTS. Once on the Public Registry, this system allows you to search by the individual's name, the company's name or the BCIN #. Once you have found a business or individual, it will bring you to a page with details on the company. It lists the mailing address of the business & contact details. At the bottom it should also show the Registration as 'Registered Designer' and the Status as 'Current'. If it shows up as 'lapsed or expired' then this means that they either do not have valid insurance for that year, or that they are late in filing their paperwork.

Do I need an architect or engineer for my project?

Probably not! There have been massive changes to the system in the last few years, opening the doorway for a new title; Designers. Architects & Engineers are NOT required for any project less than 600m² (6,458 sq.ft.) and less than 4 storeys. For most residential and small commercial projects, you do NOT need an architect or an engineer. However, and this is important, if the project involves certain structural modifications, an engineer may be requested by the municipality to review the plans. On this note, there is a BCIN exam which will supersede this requirement! If your design company is a registered company in the Category of 'Building Structural' then they can complete the plans.

When do I need a BCIN 'stamp' for my project?

Depending on …

Life Insurance Closing Techniques

If you were expecting another one line sales pitch to be written here, you definitely will not find it. Life insurance closing techniques have very little to do with sales pitches at all. The whole say this and all of a sudden you will get this kind of reaction from your prospect sounds like a crush sale to me.

If it ever came down to you giving a sales pitch, you are either trying to salvage the sale, or you are not in true communication with your client. Think about it, you are solely relying on some outdated script or pitch that was written who knows how long ago. Wouldn’t you rather know how to not perform a sales pitch and still close a deal?

I am one of those individuals that likes to know how things work. For example, if a doctor just ran some pitch on you, but he really didn’t know the science of his own work would you go with that doctor? I didn’t think so. The same concept goes with life insurance closing techniques, if you do not know the science of truly closing a deal, then why look for the quick way out.

This brings me to my very first point, you are in this business to sell yourself, not your products.

Life Insurance Closing Techniques – Always Sell Yourself

What exactly do I mean by “sell yourself”. A lot of individuals hear this but very few actually understand the science behind it. I am going to try and put it into the best perspective for you. Think of a time when you wanted to buy something, like a TV or Car. Do you remember the individual that you dealt with during the course of the sale? Maybe you do not remember his or her name, but you can definitely remember if they were knowledgeable, kind, informative, and helpful. Now, do you remember the guy you did not buy from?

What were the reasons you did not buy from that individual? Maybe he did not help out, he might have been rude or even ignored your questions or concerns about the product you were wanting to buy.

The reason why you did not buy from that individual, was because they did not sell themselves. Even though it was the same product, same price, same warranty, you still did not buy from that individual. Life insurance closing techniques are about getting to know your client.

They will not buy from a stranger, so you turn them into a friend. Friends have trust, and trust is what will get you the sale. The client must trust you with their money. If you are just out there doing some sales pitch about some product but have not really gotten to know who you are sitting across from, you are literally hiking up hill to close that deal.

Life Insurance Closing Techniques – The Sales Presentation

After you have gotten to know your client, …

Unlike someone calling himself a CPA or a physician, just about anyone can call himself a “financial planner” or a “financial advisor” regardless of their educational background and professional experience. Moreover, not all of them are unbiased in their advice and not all of them always act in their clients’ best interests.

To ensure your financial planner is well-qualified in personal finances and impartial in his advice, consider the following five things:

1. Planning Credentials: Having a highly-regarded credential in financial planning, such as Certified Financial Planner (CFP) or Personal Financial Specialist (PFS), confirms that the professional you intend to work with has acquired the education and experience necessary to serve as a financial planner. CFP and PFS credentials are awarded to only those individuals who have met the certification requirements of education and experience in planning for personal finances. In addition, they have to pass the certification examinations and agree adhere to the practice standards and continuing education requirements.

2. Subject Matter Expertise: Financial planners are planning professionals, not necessarily subject matter experts. For example, a financial planner will be skilled in tax analysis and planning,but unlike a Certified Public Account (CPA) or an IRS Enrolled Agent (EA) he might not necessarily be a subject matter expert when it comes to tax rules Similarly,a he could be skilled in chalking out an investment plan, but unlike a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) he may not be an authority in the subject of investments. Work with a financial planner who is also a subject matter expert in those areas of personal finance that are important in achieving your financial goals.

3. Client Specialization: Not all financial planners serve all types of clients. Most specialize in serving only certain types of clients with specific profiles. For example, a personal planner may build his expertise and customize his services to serve only those individuals and families who are in certain professions, or a particular stage of life with specific financial goals and net worth. Ask whether the planner specializes in serving only certain types of clients with specific profiles to determine whether he is the right fit for your situation and financial goals.

4. Fee structure: The fee structure largely determines whose interests he serves best – his client’s or his own. A Fee-Only professional charges only fees for their advice whereas a Fee-Based professional not only charges fees but also earns commissions, referral fees and other financial incentives on the products and solutions they recommend for you. Consequently, the advice from a fee-only one is more likely to be unbiased and in your best interests than the advice from a fee-based financial planner. Work with a professional whose fee structure is conflict-free and aligned to benefit you.

5. Availability: He or she should be regularly available, attentive, and accessible to you. Ask the planner how many clients he currently serves and the maximum number of clients he is planning to serve in the future regularly. This clients-to-planner ratio is one of the …

After all is said and done, how much does your builder walk away with?

Do you wonder how a builder decides what to charge for a new home? You know that you pay for the lumber, carpet, fixtures and all the details, but how is the final price determined?

Buying a home requires a lot of money. The cost is based on many different factors, including the construction, land and the marketing and administrative costs for the builder. And of course, the net profit.

Does it sound any easier to understand?

Most builders will charge in a similar way. The construction of the house will account for approximately 50% of the base price of the home.

There are several costs within the construction factor. There are direct costs, which are the sticks and bricks. These are all of the materials that go into the home, from the lumber to concrete and windows to carpet.

The work is usually mostly provided by subcontractors hired by the builder.

Then there are construction labor costs. These are the costs associated with work performed by the builder’s employees. These go along with the indirect costs, which are usually performed by the builder’s employees. They include the correction work that is done to fix any mistakes by subcontractors.

You will also be charged the construction interest on the home. To finance the purchase of the lot and the cost of construction before you pay the builder, the builder takes out a bank loan. The cost of the loan, including all interest and fees, will be figured into the base price you pay.

The actual cost of the lot can be between 25% and 40% of the base price. With the cost of land constantly going up, especially near metro areas, the lot portion has increased over the years. Added to your land costs are any off-site improvements, such as water and sewer lines, street developments, curbing and paving and driveways and sidewalks.

Many builders offer a discount on the base price, often by paying for points at settlement, to encourage first-time buyers. A discounted home will often have construction costs that equal 50%, lot costs of 30%, a discount of 3% and a 17% gross profit.

Out of the gross profit, the builder deducts administrative costs, marketing costs and taxes.

If you choose options, you could add 10% to 30% to the base price.

Surprisingly, builders walk away with less profit than you would expect. Net profits on the sale of a home often ranges from 2% to 6%. In general, the larger the home, the higher the net.

You can easily find out the net profits for builders that are publicly traded companies. You simply have to read their annual reports.

When you are contemplating the building of a home, sometimes you should shop around a bit. Compare the costs for similar homes offered by different builders. Ask the builder how much of the cost is construction. They may or may not tell you. …

Do you want to know how to make money online?

Articles that make a list of things that people like to read, or like to know about.

“Listicles” is an amalgam of “articles” and “lists” to get “listicles”, get it?

Listicles!

For example:

1. The top 10 vacations spots On Earth.

2. 3 things you should never do on a date

3. 10 foods that stop the aging process

4. The top ten selling toys of all time

5. 7 ways to make new friends in 30 days or less

6. 3 ways to drive her crazy

7. 5 neat ways to make money online

8. The 10 best actors of all time

9. 50 ways to generate traffic to your website

For each article that lists certain things you have to list those things that the headline talks about and then explain each of them in turn.

That is the essence of a “listicle”.

People love to read about lists.

Anything about a list.

“The Top Ten” format is always a good way to start an article. It could be the top ten anything. You can write about the top ten this, or the top ten that, or the top ten whatever.

You can write about the “7 best ways” to start an online business from home and then develop those seven different ways to make that money online from home.

You can write about the ten best recipes that your grandmother left you and how you enjoy cooking them. Each one would have to be summarized in short yet comprehensible form in the body of the article so that the reader’s attention can be attained and kept.

What you write about is irrelevant.

But if you write articles about lists, about anything that can be put on a list like the above you can command attention from your readers because we all love lists.

There is something curious about an article that has any number in its subject that talks about the top ten of this or the seven best of that or the three things you should never do in such and such a case.

We want to read articles like that.

“Listicles”.

We have gotten to love them as we see more of them.

Use this strategy when you next write an article for your business.

You don’t use articles in your marketing efforts you say? Well you should. Listicles are now on the fast track to becoming a popular method to drive traffic to any website. Any online business can profit from listicles. If you do not use them you are depriving your website of the lifeblood of what it needs to make you money. You are in fact at a disadvantage.

Listicles are being used by the most successful online marketers to drive traffic as well as by affiliate marketers who rely on new traffic to generate and grow their commission checks.…

• INTRODUCTION:

A commercial bank is a business entity that deals in banking with a view to make profits. Every commercial bank aims to make profits in such a way that it does not compromise on its objective of liquidity, which is vital for its own security and safety.

• Meaning:

Since a commercial bank has to make profits in such a way that its liquidity remains intact, it diversifies its funds into various assets. A well – diversified and balanced asset portfolio ensures its sound and successful working. Various factors play an important role in determining the profitability and liquidity of commercial banks. These factors are taken into consideration while creating the asset portfolio of the banks.

• EXPLANATION:

A) FACTORS AFFECTING THE PROFITABILITY OF COMMERCIAL BANKS:

1) Amount of working funds:

Funds deployed by a bank in profitable assets are the working funds of the bank. Profitability of a business is directly proportionate to the amount of working funds deployed by the bank.

2) Cost of funds:

Cost of funds are the expenses incurred on obtaining funds from various sources in the form of share capital, reserves, deposits, and borrowings. Thus, it generally refers to interest expenses. Lower the cost of funds, higher the profitability.

3) Yield on funds;

The funds raised by the bank through various sources are deployed in various assets. These assets yield income in the form of interest. So, higher the interest, greater the profitability.

4) Spread:

Spread is defined as the difference between the interest received (interest income ) and the interest paid (interest expense ). Higher spread indicates more efficient financial intermediate and higher net income. Thus, higher spread leads to higher profitability.

5) Operating Costs:

Operating costs are the expenses incurred in the functioning of the bank Excluding cost of funds, all other expenses are operating costs. Lower operating costs give rise to greater profitability of the banks.

6) Risk cost:

This cost is associated to the probable annual loss on assets. They include provisions made towards bad debts and doubtful debts. Lower risk costs increase the profitability of banks.

7) Non – interest income:

It is the income derived from non – financial assets and services It includes commission & brokerage on rencittance facility, rent of locker facility, fees for underwriting and financial guarantees, etc. This income adds to the profitability of banks.

8) Level of technology:

Use of upgraded technology normally leads to decline in the operating costs of banks. This improves the profitability of banks.

9) Level of Non – performing assets (NPAs):

The profitability of a bank is inversely related to the level of NPAs. Hence, over the years, the NPAs of commercial banks have greatly declined.

10) Level of competition:

Increase in competition generally leads to higher operating costs. This leads to lower profitability.

B ) FACTORS DETERMINING THE LIQUIDITY OF COMMERCIAL BANKS:

1) STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS:

The extent of liquid reserves held by banks depends on the statutory requirements of the Central Bank (i.e. the RBI) …

People who want to start a lawn care business often ask the question – Can I make $100,000 profit per year? This article looks at the profits that you can expect during your first few years in the lawn care business and sets out ten points that you must be aware of if you want to get you business started the right way and take it to the $100,000 level.

How much is Possible?

If you start out right and work hard during your first year and are able to obtain at least 30 clients that you regularly service then you can expect to be earning the equivalent of $20,000 to $50,000 per year. Once you have experience and become established you can easily scale up to earning $100,000 after a few years and some savvy lawn care players make more than this, much more!

So how do you Start a ‘Six Figure’ Lawn Care Business?

1) Before and during the startup phase of your lawn business you should strive to have a great knowledge of lawn care, to understand the equipment involved and to become the best at mowing, edging and blowing. This ensures that customers will be satisfied, productivity will be maximized and that you can pass on your knowledge to future employees. Plan on starting out with second hand or leased equipment and scale up as your cashflow allows.

2) Understand the importance of establishing a brand or company identity as a platform that you can build upon. This is more than just thinking up a great name and getting a nice looking logo and business cards. Think about how you want customers to perceive your business and what you can do differently from your competitors that will allow you to stand out in the marketplace and to command a premium price for your services. You don’t want to have to change your branding further down the road so start your lawn care business off with a well thought out branding strategy.

3) Get organized! You should also start off right with a lawn care software package to help you with daily business administration. To scale up to the six-figure level within a few years you need to have systems in place for all aspects of your business.

4) Realise the importance of marketing and sales. Test advertising methods to find out what works best, learn how to price lawn jobs accurately and how to close the deal with prospective customers.

5) Highly profitable operators realize that while basic lawn maintenance services are their ‘bread and butter’ there are many additional services that they can up-sell to their clients with much higher profit margins than lawn mowing.

6) Make a commitment to reading and learning as much as you can about the industry, marketing and small business management. Look for books and reports by industry players who have started highly successful lawn care businesses so that you can learn from their mistakes and gain access to their …