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The 7 Principles of Business Integrity

If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don’t

have integrity, nothing else matters. — Alan K. Simpson

If I were to ask you what attribute is the most influential

in regard to the success of a business, would you know

immediately which one is the most important? Based on my

many years as a business owner and entrepreneur, I have

discovered that at the very top of the list is the

distinguishing quality of integrity. Without integrity at

the helm of a company, a business is usually short-lived. In

fact, when business integrity is present throughout the

deepest layers of a company and not just at its surface, it

becomes the heart and soul of the company’s culture and can

mean the difference between a company that succeeds and a

company that falters.

The Internet’s Immeasurable Impact on the Marketplace!

The importance of integrity has always existed among the

business community, but in recent times has been shown as

falling short. It is the Internet’s immeasurable impact on

the global marketplace that is now making the expression of

integrity, reliability and credibility extremely important.

Furthermore, the consequence of global competition means

that customers will simply not consider a company that shows

any less than the highest level of integrity. Since there is

a wealth of competitive companies easily available and

accessible via the Internet, there is in fact no need to

accept anything less than the best.

Where Does Integrity Start?

In an effort to build upon a foundation of integrity, the

first requirement would be to establish excellent rapport

with clients. Based on many years of study, the best and

most practiced method for achieving rapport is by way of

Relationship Marketing. Just as it sounds, Relationship

Marketing is founded on the single and most critical

characteristic, known as “Integrity.” However, achieving

true integrity with clients often leaves many an

entrepreneur bewildered, grasping for techniques and

strategies that guarantee their futures. But integrity is

not something that can be grasped and then simply used.

Integrity in its essence must be so ingrained within the

nature of an individual, its company and the team members,

that it remains steadfast no matter what. Without question,

others sense it and find it very attractive.

The True Nature of Integrity!

Now you are probably asking yourself, what is the true

nature of integrity? There are in fact some very basic

principles that surround the qualities of business

integrity. At its core, integrity begins with a company

leader who understands the qualities of integrity which then

filters down throughout the company into every department

and every member’s approach and attitude.

In recent research performed by the Institute of Business

Ethics- an organization which is among the world’s leaders

in promoting corporate ethical best practices, it was found

that companies displaying a “clear commitment to ethical

conduct” almost invariably outperform companies that do not

display ethical conduct. The Director of the Institute of

Business Ethics, Philippa Foster Black, stated: “Not only is

ethical …

Knowing How To Get Approved For Your Tractor Loan

There are some people that have an acreage having a few acres of land or a large yard and have nothing to do with it. It is best that you farm on it so that the land becomes productive. You can after all take advantage of farm equipment loans so that you can get started on your new venture. You’ll surely need a tractor to help you maintain your land however the problem of most people is that they don’t have cash to buy one. Good thing there are actually several ways that you can finance a tractor for your farming. Be sure to follow the steps below because these ways require planning and advice.

To get started, you need to know the exact size of your land. This will also help you enable to find out how many tractors you will need. This is not enough however, of course you will need to find out how much you can exactly afford. Depending on the terrain of your land, you might need one or several types of tractors. A farm equipment loan can definitely cover this for you. Tractors come in an array of sizes and horsepower or engine sizes. You need to be sure that the workload you will subject your tractor to is only that it can carry. Other options for tractors also vary which includes but is not limited to wheel configuration. Again this depends on the terrain of your land and the type of soil that you will toil. There is an online tractor data guide for your information that you can visit to help you determine the type of tractor that you need when you apply for your loan.

Bear in mind that when you shop, shop only for tractors that fit the horsepower that you need, nothing more and nothing less. Also, be sure that you consider your repayment ability. You wouldn’t want to buy something that you really cannot afford. You can look into the classified ads, local sales lots, or again try to go online to look for good deals. The latter option usually can get you hundreds of results within just a matter of minutes so it’s very convenient.

To have a better chance of getting approved for your tractor loan, it is best that you put together an impressive business plan that shows the reason why you need a tractor, how much it costs, and how profitable your upcoming business venture would be because this will determine that method of repayment that you’ll have to pay off the loan.

You can also ask dealerships if they have financing deals to take less stress off of your budget. Most of them do offer financing deals. Be sure that you bring with you your business plan and know the type and model of tractor that you’ll need. Prepare well to show them that you have the ability to pay off everything in due time. In no time, you can bet that you …

5 Tips on How to Get Customers For Your Window Cleaning Business

In this article, I will give you tips in starting a window cleaning business, specifically how to get a customer base. Many of the principles will help you become a professional window cleaner.

1. Be professional.

Being professional starts before you even look for window cleaning customers. You need to make sure your image is appealing. Small things like having neat clothing, neatly trimmed hair, good personal hygiene and wearing a smile, have a massive positive impact on someone when they open the door to you. Would you let a slovenly dressed smelly individual who you don’t know work on your house? I thought not. Next, have a well prepared message in mind. Something along the lines of “Hello, I am a local window cleaner and I was wondering if you needed a window cleaner yourself?” It is short, polite and to the point.

2. Get business cards.

The business card is the foundation of all of your advertising for your window cleaning business. Your business card should be well designed and have all of your relevant details without being cluttered. You must put your card into the hands of everyone you can including friends, family, current customers and prospective window cleaning customers. Now you are ready to hit the streets!

3. Canvass, canvass, canvass!!!

Canvassing for window cleaning customers to some may seem demeaning, almost ‘begging’ for work. For that reason, many send out thousands of flyers by hand, which is not effective use of your time, or via local newspapers or magazines, which can be costly. In my experience, householders like to see the window cleaner they will deal with each month. In my experience, the most effective way to canvass is by knocking every door in the street, and by making sure you speak to the owner of each house, not the kids, babysitter, gardener etc. Speaking to each individual is far more effective than pushing a flyer through the door. When was the last time you looked at a flyer and bought that product? Probably never. Going in person to advertise your window cleaning business gives it an instant personal touch that is essential. After all, as their window cleaner you will have access to their property and they want to be able to trust you. The first key to trust is knowing what you look like!

4. Respond professionally.

Should the householder refuse your window cleaning services, politely ask to leave a business card should they need a window cleaner in the future, or if they have a friend that needs a window cleaner. This has the same effect as a flyer, but at least they have met you and will recognize you when you are window cleaning in their street in the future. If the householder asks you to give them a quote, be sensible in your price for them, but more importantly, for yourself. Pricing for window cleaning is an article in itself. Should they accept your quote, again, be professional. Have a …

Square Business Cards – Good Idea Or Bad?

Each and every day, entrepreneurs, job seekers, freelancers, employees, and executives hand out business cards. It happens in offices and on the street… during chance meetings and networking events… in between friends, new associates, or newly united strangers.

With all of these cards being exchanged, it’s very important to have a business card that stands out from the pack — one that grabs attention the instant it’s placed in the palm of someone’s hand. After all, there’s nothing worse than making a first impression with a dull and drab card.

Perhaps the easiest way to stand out is to have a business card that doesn’t look or feel like all of the others.

Enter the square business card.

Square business cards instantly stand out due to their shape. It’s almost impossible, in fact, to be handed a square business card and NOT look at it before you put it in your pocket. That alone can make it a better marketing tool than other, more typical cards.

Another benefit of square business cards is that they offer extra space for content. Considering more content equals a greater opportunity for selling yourself to prospects, employers, or referral sources, that can be a big advantage.

So are square business cards all good? Are they an automatic brilliant idea that anyone and everyone should be using?

Of course not.

The thing is, standing out visually can be accomplished in so many ways. There are 3D, plastic, translucent, metal, edible, die-cut, embossed cards… and countless other eye catching attention-grabbing possibilities. Square business cards are but ONE way to do it, and what’s right for one person is certainly not right for everyone.

When you consider that the atypical shape may make storing your square business card more difficult (in a stack of others, or in a business card book, for example) it may not necessarily be the most convenient. And as for the benefit of added space to tell your story… well, fold over cards offer that benefit as well, but they can retain a typical shape as well.

The bottom line is that square business cards will be a great way to stand out for some — and not right for others. It really does depends on what you do, where and to who you distribute your cards to, and the concept you have in mind. If a square design seems right — go with it. It’s certain to stop your recipients in their tracks, giving you ample time to make that big and lasting impression!…

Advantages of Non-Financial Performance Measurement Over Financial Performance Measurement

Financial Performance Measurement

The motive of every business is to achieve the bottom line of maximum financial benefits. In order to comply with the same, companies have come up with financial performance measurement techniques. The very idea is to ensure that no matter what the resources do and the way they function, they would have to show profits in the profit and loss statements. It is carried out generally in three different steps. They have been mentioned as follows:

Firstly, it encompasses selecting the goals of the organization.

Secondly, and also as the most important part, it is to consolidate the measurement of information with respect to the performance.

Finally, the required changes made by the managers so as to serve as a remedy over the weak links in the financial charts of the company. So, one can say that the financial aspects of performance measurement is basically sales driven. There are certain milestones that companies set for employees. A deficiency in being able to fulfil even a certain process can be harmful for the position. So, this method of performance measurement is also known to show certain insecurity for the employees. Hence, it might not give the most authenticated results. Business Performance Management is by and large measured by the financial aspects of performance measurement. The specific techniques for the same have been mentioned as follows:

Approaches to Financial Performance Measurement

Economic Values Added

This method deals directly with the economic profit of the organization that goes directly into the balance sheets. This method in other words can be used to measure the Net Operating Profit after Taxes. There are also certain adjustments that are made in the calculation of Economic value added so that the companies can make it more synchronized with the profit entry in the profit and loss statements. This method is generally used by lower stature companies these days. The reason for the same is that at the moment, the companies can afford to look at the business functioning only from the financial perspective. There is much more to achieve.

Activity-Based Costing

The fundamental law of economics says that management would have to make the most from the least resources that are available to them. In regard to keeping with the statement, the companies generally identify the processes that are in the system and then classify them as separate activities. Followed by this, the companies assign separate costs to each of the activities. This can be done in the form of direct and indirect costs.

Reason for shift from Financial to Non-Financial aspect

In other words, we can say that this is also a form of performance measurement on the basis of finance aspects. One can assign costs to each of the activities, but then there are always, restrictions on the use of the activities that are highly expensive. Once, again, this method would not be applicable in the long-run. The reason for the same is that this method forms a hindrance to the long-term …

Insurance Required During Construction Or Conversion of Vessels Or Rigs

1. Builder’s All Risk Insurance:

Usually during the contract negotiation stage, when it is as yet unclear as to which party will be accepting which liabilities, which party will be responsible for procuring the insurance and absorbing the deductibles, etc., both parties look more deeply into the breadth of available BAR coverage.

We can say that Builder’s Risk Insurance for the energy class of business provides coverage under three different forms:

  1. London Institute Builder’s Risk Clauses 1.6.88 (CL 351) – or American equivalent
  2. WELCAR form
  3. Custom forms tailor-made to specific risks or Owners or shipyards.

Is the protection provided under all BAR policies the same? No! For a comparison between wordings please contact a trusted insurance broker of your choice.

2. War Risks and Strikes, Riots, Civil Commotions (SRCC):

a. Institute War Clauses Builder’s Risks 1/6/88 (CL 349) –

Coverage incepts once the vessel is launched (or wet) and provides coverage for loss of or damage to the insured vessel / rig caused by:

  • war, civil war, revolution, rebellion insurrection, or civil strife arising therefrom, or any hostile act by or against a belligerent power
  • capture seizure arrest restraint or detainment, arising from perils covered above, and the consequences thereof or any attempt thereat
  • derelict mines torpedoes bombs or other derelict weapons of war.

b. Institute Strikes Clauses Builders’ Risks 1/6/88 (CL 350) –

Provides coverage for loss of or damage to the insured vessel / rig caused by:

  • strikers, locked-out workmen, or persons taking part in labor disturbances, riots or civil commotions
  • any terrorist or any person acting maliciously or from a political motive.

We recommend that this coverage be amended to include Vandalism and Malicious Mischief.

Please also review if the terrorism coverage provided under this clause is either restricted or broadened, or if there are any other applicable clauses such as Sabotage & Terrorism Endorsements. In any case, be sure that the coverage afforded is adequate for your Client so your Client makes an informed decision.

3. Liability – Insurance coverage that protects an insured against claims made by third parties for damage or injury to their property or person. These losses usually come about as a result of negligence of the insured. In marine construction, this policy is referred to an MGL, marine general liability policy. In non-marine circumstances, the policy is referred to as a CGL, commercial general liability policy. The construction contract should determine which parties are liable in which instances for losses of Third Party Liability nature.

Insurance policies can be divided into three broad categories:

  1. Product Liability – Protection against a Manufacturer’s liability for injuries or property damage after a manufactured product has been sold. Extraordinary liability accompanies the manufacture of a product.
  2. Completed Operations – Protection against a Contractor’s liability for injuries or property damage suffered by Third Parties as a result of the Contractor completing an operation.
  3. “Trips & falls & damage” – Protection against injuries or property damage on premises or hulls within care, custody, control of a party.

Pros and Cons of Starting a Hot Dog Cart Business

Business is the new and successful trend nowadays. Working in the typical 9-5 job and working very hard but still unable to satisfy the boss is just a headache. Have your own business in which you can easily alter the timings and working hours, earn complete profit and the best thing to know that there is no one who will be asking the questions. Hot dog cart business is a very popular and successful business in this regard.

To start the vending cart business you need many things such as the cart, the health certificate, proper license of the cart, and many more. They are very popular and now the business is also becoming very popular. There are surely many pros and cons of a street vending business among which some pros and cons are as follows.

The best thing and the main pro of the hot dog business is that it is 100{4917788a0bd7aa7369c2a945027b4fe6c9853cda4150a24fe1255b18ce3083dc} recession proof. Remember that whatever happens, people will eat and enjoy the best food in the market. Another great thing is that it is easy to start up and you can set up it in just two weeks. Low start up cost but great profits is another pro of this business.

Well you have read the pros of the business but now it is the time for the cons. The biggest problem with this business is that it requires too many things before actually starting the business such as the medical certificate, license and many more things. Location plays an important role if you are standing on an awkward location then you will go down with your business. Weather also plays vital role, if it is raining or too cold then you will have to shut the cart for few days until the weather settles up.

Well the above are some pros and cons of the hot dog cart business but it is true that hot dog cart business is very successful and somehow easy as well to earn money.…

Importance Of Data Mining In Today’s Business World

What is Data Mining? Well, it can be defined as the process of getting hidden information from the piles of databases for analysis purposes. Data Mining is also known as Knowledge Discovery in Databases (KDD). It is nothing but extraction of data from large databases for some specialized work.

Data Mining is largely used in several applications such as understanding consumer research marketing, product analysis, demand and supply analysis, e-commerce, investment trend in stocks & real estates, telecommunications and so on. Data Mining is based on mathematical algorithm and analytical skills to drive the desired results from the huge database collection.

Data Mining has great importance in today’s highly competitive business environment. A new concept of Business Intelligence data mining has evolved now, which is widely used by leading corporate houses to stay ahead of their competitors. Business Intelligence (BI) can help in providing latest information and used for competition analysis, market research, economical trends, consume behavior, industry research, geographical information analysis and so on. Business Intelligence Data Mining helps in decision-making.

Data Mining applications are widely used in direct marketing, health industry, e-commerce, customer relationship management (CRM), FMCG industry, telecommunication industry and financial sector. Data mining is available in various forms like text mining, web mining, audio & video data mining, pictorial data mining, relational databases, and social networks data mining.

Data mining, however, is a crucial process and requires lots of time and patience in collecting desired data due to complexity and of the databases. This could also be possible that you need to look for help from outsourcing companies. These outsourcing companies are specialized in extracting or mining the data, filtering it and then keeping them in order for analysis. Data Mining has been used in different context but is being commonly used for business and organizational needs for analytical purposes

Usually data mining requires lots of manual job such as collecting information, assessing data, using internet to look for more details etc. The second option is to make software that will scan the internet to find relevant details and information. Software option could be the best for data mining as this will save tremendous amount of time and labor. Some of the popular data mining software programs available are Connexor Machines, Free Text Software Technologies, Megaputer Text Analyst, SAS Text Miner, LexiQuest, WordStat, Lextek Profiling Engine.

However, this could be possible that you won’t get appropriate software which will be suitable for your work or finding the suitable programmer would also be difficult or they may charge hefty amount for their services. Even if you are using the best software, you will still need human help in completion of projects. In that case, outsourcing data mining job will be advisable.…

Workers Compensation Retrospective Rating Plan

Using a simplified definition, a retrospective rating plan (retro) is a pricing plan available in which your workers compensation premium is developed, in its final form, by the losses sustained during the policy period.

First let’s go over the components of a retro:

Maximum Premium: This factor represents the percentage over and above the standard premium, which can be collected in the event of adverse loss performance during the policy period. Example: A $50,000 policy with a 1.25 (125{4917788a0bd7aa7369c2a945027b4fe6c9853cda4150a24fe1255b18ce3083dc}) maximum could potentially be billed $62,500 if you had a high claims amount. This factor is part of the negotiating your agent should do on your behalf. It is subjective and set by the underwriter.

Minimum Premium: This factor represents the ultimate return to the insured in the event you had no losses. Example: The same $50,000 policy with a.60 (60{4917788a0bd7aa7369c2a945027b4fe6c9853cda4150a24fe1255b18ce3083dc}) minimum premium would pay only $30,000 in premium if you had no losses. This factor is in direct correlation with the maximum. The higher the maximum, the lower the minimum and visa versa. In other words, take more risk get more reward, take less risk get less reward.

Loss Conversion: This factor represents the cost the insurance company is going to charge you to administer the claims you incur. Example: The retro is issued with a 1.10 (10{4917788a0bd7aa7369c2a945027b4fe6c9853cda4150a24fe1255b18ce3083dc}) loss conversion factor and you incur a $10,000 claim. The insurance carrier will calculate this claim as $11,000 ($10,000 x 1.10 = $11,000). This factor is also negotiable and set by the underwriter. This factor has a direct correlation with the minimum. The higher the loss conversation factor the lower the minimum premium and visa versa.

Tax Multiplier: Because retro’s deviate from the standard policy pricing, which has the premium taxes the insurance company pays included in the premium the tax multiplier is shown separately on the retro. This factor is set by the state and is not negotiable.

Now that we have covered what the “factors” represent, here is an example of how a retro is calculated. In this example we will use a $100,000 standard premium and $40,000 in losses the following factors (The factors vary by insurance company these being used are only an example):

  • Maximum: 1.25
  • Minimum.50
  • Loss Conversion: 1.10
  • Tax Multiplier: 1.07

$100,000 (standard premium) x.50 (minimum premium) = $50,000

$40,000 (losses) x 1.10 (loss conversion factor) = $44,000

$50,000 Minimum Premium + $44,000 losses plus conversion factor = $94,000 premium

$94,000 premium x 1.07 Tax Multiplier = $100,580 final premium

In this example the final premium after the calculation was not above our maximum premium of $125,000 (standard premium x maximum premium factor) so the final premium remains as calculated.

Because the losses were high in relation to the premium size this retro did not work in favor of the policyholder costing $580 more than a standard policy would have. However, using a total claims amount of $22,000 following the same calculation formula the final calculated premium would have been $81,620 saving you $18,380 on your …

Importance of Business Forms

Anybody interested in taking their business to the next level will probably be thinking about getting business forms. Customers are always impressed by good forms because they exude professionalism of the company. There are business owners who get customised forms to streamline their organisational procedure and do it in a big way getting successful all the while. There are several software in the market that aims to elevate your business dealings to the next level by providing good quality, printable interactive business forms.

These electronic business forms are built with a speed and precision that can never be compared to any paperwork. Not only that, the e-business forms allows for faster interaction with the target segment because they are sent across as emails and attachments. It is also received well by the target audience because they don’t have to do any writing work to get the forms filled.

There are different formats of business forms depending on the templates that you download from the net. Programming languages like Java and ABAP create first class interactive business forms that are appreciated by the clients because of the ease of use. Once these templates are downloaded from the internet, they can be customised to suit different needs that come with the nature of the business. There are some forms that you can integrate and create new ones. These are mostly done for industrial, banking, educational and government purposes.

Sending customisable forms makes your business more classy and professional. It is an investment that you will have to make, but the returns are worth the money you spend on it. There are several free business templates that you can download from the net. These templates files come with all the basic functions that you would need. These can be later tailor made to suit your requirements. Some of the websites that offer free download-able templates also allow them to be printed, so that makes the job much easier for you. Getting these forms also saves a lot of time and money because the reach is more and you can be sure that they actually get them instead of it going into the trash can. These online business forms encourage people to respond and interact.…