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The Advantages of Having Personal Productivity Software

Personal productivity software is an application that no business should be without. This is because of the simple fact that this piece of software makes a great contribution when it comes to ensuring productivity in the workplace. But if you are not too convinced about the importance of purchasing personal productivity software just yet, well, this is actually normal. A lot of business men do become wary when presented with the notion of purchasing such software because computer software is a bit pricey in the market right now. However, when presented with the many benefits businesses enjoy with these software applications, the activity of convincing businessmen becomes very, very easy to do.

So, why exactly do you need personal productivity software in running your business? First of all, this piece of software can give any type and size business the professional touch it needs. The software comes with applications and programs that make it very easy for you to produce professional looking letterheads, marketing reports, brochures, mailing campaigns, and the like. Even the simple act of developing professional looking paychecks is easily done with the use of such software as well. And this is just one of the minor benefits that come with such software!

When you get the basic package, you actually get a word processor, a spreadsheet application, presentation software, and the like. For a more cost-efficient option, you could consider getting one of those suites that contain a number of these tools. This way, you are sure to get more value for your money. Some examples of these suites include Microsoft Office, Sun Staroffice 8, Microsoft Works, or Corel WordPerfect Office. An interesting fact about Microsoft Works is that it actually comes free with personal computers. Aside from these suites, you can also choose to get supplementary software packages that can make your whole life easier.

One of the popular software packages includes QuickBooks. This choice is popular because it is known to be very efficient in handling and managing inventory and business finances, such as payroll and benefits packages. Now, with all these abilities, you have to be sure to allot a hefty budget for your suite of tool and the additional applications and programs you would be getting. The typical price for suites and the individual applications range from a hundred to five hundred dollars. So, if your PC is meant for more than just doing the regular email and the basics on word processing, then you should consider this option thoroughly.

You may also be worried about the hidden and recurring fees that might come with having personal productivity software installed in your system. Yes, they do come with long term costs, but these are just minimal when you compare them to the benefits you would come to enjoy with the software. An upgrade would occasionally be needed, especially after a few years or so with your own application suite. Plus, your business should be growing in a few years, right? Thus, it would …

Turn a Life Casting Hobby Into a Profitable Profession

You have indulged your hobby of making molds and casts. Now you are not only proficient in clay modeling and resin or silicone casting but have also become quite skilled in the art of life casting. You can deftly capture a mold of a hand or foot or even face and reproduce a striking likeness complete with the minute hair, pores and other marks.

So why not turn this passion for casting and life casting into a part time or even full time profession?

The What ?

Your artistic passion can easily become a potential lucrative business.You can offer various services like clay modeling, silicone or resin casting, latex rubber masks and so on.

Or you might consider specializing in creating only life castings. The demand for memorable it, is not only huge but growing by the day. It is not limited to selected moneybags in the community anymore. Even ordinary people like you and me are looking to capture a slice of themselves or their loved ones and preserve it for posterity. Especially infant casting and pregnant belly castings are enjoying increasing popularity.

What's more, more and more people are turning into this as a singularly unique gift to mark a special occasion for a friend or family member. It is indeed the perfect way to freeze a beautiful memory forever in a lovely time capsule.

Therefore, they will look out for a skilled and experienced artist who can recreate a realistic and perfectly detailed reproduction without harming the model in any way. And this is where you will come into the picture!

The How?

But, do you know how to actually go about getting this business underway?

The answer is to network with professional artists and glean tips on the legalities of how to enter the business. You can take part in various online forums to discuss not only tips on it and mold making but also gather useful information on workshops, shows and leads on other websites to visit.

Additionally, you can become a member of the Association of Lifecasters International – or ALI as it is often known. This is a worldwide artists' guild that promotes public awareness of life casting and eagerly assists serious life casters in every way possible. Membership is free and you just have to agree to abide by the ALI Code of Conduct. This will open the door to a wealth of life casting information, marketing tips and inspirational ideas.

A top art studio is also more than willing to extend personal advice, promotional material and all the resources you will need to start a profitable life casting business. The company further supports fine artists by making selective purchases that are added to its life casting collection.

Nothing can stop you from stepping into the life casting business now! …

The Importance of English in International Business

The major factor involved in the importance of English in international business is the acceptance of English as the international language of the business community for the purpose of uniformity in communication. Accepting English eliminates the need to explore an alternative language. If not English, then what language works better for the international business community?

English as an International Language

Perspective of English as Global Communication

If English as a global language “means that English has the widest distribution on the most continents, it is true. If it means that English is the language most utilized for international communication between and among language communities, it is true. But if it implies that English is the language of all the peoples of the globe, it is manifestly false” (Harris, 2001, 685). What may be good for the functionality of business may not be accepted as being good for the non-business community. With any new project or venture, research and development of the product or service should be done so that words used to communicate with the new market are not received with offense. Be sensitive and respectful concerning the decisions made in regard to the ways communication is used and worded.

Perspective of English as Learned Communication

“It is crucial that students are equipped with-and be aware of-both the linguistic and strategic repertoire that they can draw from in situations where they use English to communicate with those who do not share their first language and culture. In addition to the development of strategic competence, students also need to be reminded that communication is a two-way road. That is, making one’s own message clear and trying to understand others is not the sole responsibility of non-native speakers or speakers of ‘less standard’ English varieties (however that is defined). Everyone is responsible for overall successful communication, whether it is international or not” (Matsuda and Friedrich, 2011, 340). Be mindful that words can have different meanings in different parts of the same country. Therefore, having words that have different meaning in different parts of the world is a reasonable possibility. There can also be different versions of English in different locations. Business English could also be different from the native English of an English-speaking country. Do not assume; technology has been made available to know for sure what is involved in any given business project or transaction.

English in International Business Communication

“In thinking about the impact of English on international business, there will be two effects: the intra-language effect and the inter-language effect. The intra-language effect would relate to the impact that English has in stimulating international business activity between English-speaking countries” (Hejazi and Ma, 2011, 153). If the native English of each of the two countries is slightly different, it still could have the feel of dealing with a non-English speaking country if time is not spent coming to an agreement defining business English. Business professionals new to a market will benefit by finding out how things work and use the …

Mobile Oil Change Business and General Liability Insurance Considered

Not long ago, I got an email from a gentleman wishing to set up a mobile oil change business in Florida. He was concerned about what sort of insurance he might need and was under the impression that a 1 million dollar commercial liability policy was needed up and beyond his work truck vehicle commercial auto policy. Okay so, let’s talk about this; is he correct?

It turns out that he most definitely is, you see commercial auto is not the same as completed operations or the potential liability while working. For instance, if a car catches on fire that you are working on, your commercial auto policy isn’t going to cover it. Do you see that point? So, this is the advice I explained to him;

You will need most likely want to get a commercial insurance policy; $1 million aggregate, 300K per occurrence general liability, with a “garage keeper’s liability” notation, and there will be some customer who may demand more, and also demand to be additionally insured, not just a certificate of insurance on file.

Commercial Auto Insurance is another need, but most commercial business policies will write them together as one. Find a good “commercial insurance broker” and have them scout out their sources, usually the broker-agent knows the underwriters very well (as in speed-dial) and can get you a good rate and the underwriter will understand the difference between mobile and fixed costs. Generally the commercial liability insurance is partly based on your estimated gross income.

Don’t over estimate or you will pay too much, and don’t underestimate or you may get audited by the insurance company or they might simple decide you are not a viable risk. Believe it or not most commercial insurance policies do have a clause in their insurance contracts that they may audit you and by signing the policy you pre-agree to those audits. Thus, it’s unwise to falsify information or underestimate. If you find that you may have underestimated you need to call your agent-broker and explain that, sometimes they will add to the premium, sometimes up the next year’s estimates for gross sales.

Now then, Florida is a great market for mobile oil changes, however, let’s not forget there is some competition there, some long-standing 25+ years in fact and so, insurance is only one aspect or piece of information which one needs to consider before starting a business of this type. Please consider all this and think on it, and develop a strong business plan.…

Insurance Selling Sucks

I am an insurance salesman and I think that most of the business sucks. Here is what I mean.

Daily if not almost hourly I am approached by someone new who wants me to sell their products for them. The pitch is always the same. Commissions and service.

If I sell their products I will get higher commissions. Experience has taught me that this is nothing but a lie. Almost all commissions paid by insurance companies are the same. The difference is how much are these marketing companies taking off the top. They all want me to sell their products so they can make more money off my hard work and my personal investment in marketing.

It is nice deal they have, I work and they get paid.

Think of an insurance product like a three legged stool. One leg is the client’s interest, one leg is the company’s interest and the other leg is the marketer’s interest. Anytime more is added to one leg than the other the stool is lopsided. All three legs need to be equal or someone is taken advantage of. So when a marketing company offers me an “out of whack” commission I know where it is coming from…the company, NO! It is coming from the customer. It has to!

All aspects need to be fair and if one is more than the others the stool falls over.

Then there is their other pitch….service.

I always substitute the service word with the GREED word. I mean exactly how much service do I need? I handle my own applications, I transfer my own money and I deliver my own policies. What sort of service do they offer? You are correct, nothing. For what a marketing company makes off my sales they can do a lot more than service as far as I am concerned. What could they do?

o Pay for marketing and

o Pay bonuses

Then there is this that always stops them in their tracks. I will never do business with anyone who doesn’t give me two things:

1. A pre-release so I can move anytime without their permission

2. Full disclosure of how much they make on my sales

Make them tell you and always demand full disclosure. Disclosure is not their favorite subject and very few will actually share their contracts. Hold your ground because they will eventually show you. What if they are making too much of an override, is it ever fair? The answer is yes! There are a few marketing companies out there who do a great job and provide enough benefits to actually earn the overrides. Search them out; they are the ones to do business with. Here are my favorites:

o Financial Independence Group (FIG Marketing)…North Carolina

o Northwest Planning…Spokane, Washington

o The Annuity Source…Seattle, Washington

o Brokers International…Iowa

To be honest I really like selling insurance. It provides me with a nice income as well as total management of my time. Select the best marketing partners …

How to Start Your Own Lawn Aeration Business

You can be in business for yourself, if you start your own lawn aeration business, that will let you be your own boss, and you can make good money doing it also. Usually, lawn aeration is a process where a machine, like a big lawnmower, basically, has spikes sticking out that press into the ground. These spikes, or hollow tubes, push down into the dirt, and pull plugs of dirt out, so that the roots underground can breathe better, and get better water and oxygen to the roots, to keep them green and healthy.

Most landscapers will tell you, you should aerate your lawn twice a year. The lawn aeration machine usually is pretty heavy, and also comes with weights, that you can add to the machine to make it even heavier, to punch deeper holes in the ground. It has to punch the holes into the ground hard, and the deeper it can pull a plug out, the better it is for your lawn. The plugs usually are just left on top of the lawn, and they will eventually disappear, and break down back into the yard again, so there is no reason to rake them up.

You pretty much pull up to your customer’s home, and get the lawn aeration machine out. You would go over the whole yard, just like you would a lawn mower. Most lawn aerators charge more than lawn maintenance personnel. Usually, that is because a lawn aerator machine will cost a couple of thousand dollars, whereas, a lawn mower, will only cost a couple of hundred dollars on average. The basic home owner will buy a lawn mower, and maybe leave it in the garage. But not too many home owners are going to go out and buy a lawn aerator machine. Especially if they only need to use it 2 times a year. If a machine cost $2,000, let’s say, for example, and you charged, for example, $50, to aerate the yard, it would take the home owner 20 years to get a better deal on aerating and pay off his machine. So, it only makes sense for them to have you do it!

Make sure you have signs on your vehicle, that way other new customers in the neighborhood your working in, can get your telephone number so they can call you to do their yard later on. Try to network with other landscaping companies that do landscaping, but don’t offer lawn aerating. Offer them a commission for any jobs they send to you. You can also make up a flier to mail out to many lawn maintenance and landscapers and let them know you are looking for extra jobs. Just contacting a few of them, will get you a lot of jobs. After you get lots of jobs, you can teach others how to run the lawn aerating machine for you, while you concentrate on making your business even bigger.…

5 Reasons to Be in the Restaurant Business

Restaurants can be found in almost everywhere that you may go and this is proof that this kind of business is really good. Every once in while, someone makes a decision to open up a restaurant for whatever reasons he/she has. There are evidently many reasons why people choose to open such business and you do not need to have the same reasons. You just have to evaluate what you want and to help you out, here are 5 reasons why you should be in the restaurant business.

The fact that all people need to eat is one of the main reasons why you should be in the restaurant business. People can actually cook their foods on their own at home but sometimes there are people who choose to eat in a restaurant, the busy people in particular. Because they do not have enough time to cook at home, they prefer to go out and eat. In addition, during special occasions or events, there are people who choose to celebrate in a place other than their home and they want to taste different types of foods.

Considering the fact that people need to eat, somehow you can be assured that the chance of your business to become a failure is smaller and this is another reason why you should be in a restaurant business. As long as you know what the people want and what they are looking for, you are going to be just fine. You just have to be creative and imaginative when it comes to the foods that you are going to prepare. If you want a lot of people to come to your place, then you need to come up with something new, unique and delicious. With this, you can surely keep the people coming to your place.

If you love to cook a large variety of foods, then a restaurant business is going to be great for you. Although starting up this kind of business does not really require you to be someone who loves to cook, it’s definitely better if you do. When you are doing something that you really love, then the results/outcome would be better than doing something that you do not have that much interest in.

Having a place where a lot of people pass by every single day is another sign that you should start-up a restaurant business together with your passion for cooking. If you have a really good place that’s accessible, many people would instantly know that your business exists and this means that you do not need to spend too much money for advertisements.

And of course, money is the last reason why you need to be in a restaurant business. Along with all the reasons stated above, if you have enough funds to open up a restaurant, then you should go ahead with starting up your own.

However, if you feel that you are not really interested in this kind of business, that’s the time when …

Financial Statements – Business Owner’s Friend Or Foe?

Financial Statements are a set of statistics and scores not unlike the statistics and scores that show up after a sports game. For a sports team owner or manager, the statistics, replays, opinions, and ultimately the score, are a vital part of analyzing, tweaking and improving the game. They would never ignore them. It is their way of increasing the win rate. In contrast, business owners and managers, more often than not, it seems, view their financial statements as a necessary evil to satisfy the I.R.S. They either are completely unaware of the power of these reports, or they just choose to discount them. Many business owners are happy to turn the reports over to a bookkeeper or accountant to analyze.

So, what is wrong with that? Well, for starters, when the business owner does not use the financial reports as a tool, profitability is based more on luck than strategy.

Take forecasting the profitability of the business for example. Without knowledge of past performance, how do you come up with reasonable budget numbers? When done properly, there will be at least two components, historical performance and growth projection. However, if you do not clearly understand what is going on in your company, what minor or major changes will you make? Do you have the right mix of staff? Are there product lines that are not profitable? Is your pricing correct? How about your overhead, can that be improved or is it already in line with industry standards? How exactly can you improve your score? Do you know when there is a black hole draining your profits?

Then, there is the control issue. Who is controlling your business? Do you have controls in place? From experience, I can tell you that when the owner does not know what is going on with the finances of the business, there is ample room for corruption. Would you know if someone was stealing from you? Sometimes it is small seemingly insignificant skimming and other times it is more like grand theft. It happens all the time and the business owner is often completely unaware.

The solution is for the business owner to become educated in the financial aspects of the business. This does not mean they have to become an accountant. But, it is critical that they become knowledgeable of the accounting model in place. They need to understand the language. Business finance is no more difficult to understand than most other aspects of running a business. It is probably less difficult than some aspects.

The three most important financial reports are The Balance Sheet, The Income Statement and The Cash Flow Statement. The most important Key Performance Indicators are within these three reports. It is a cake walk!

Are financial statements your friend or foe? Friend, definitely friend! Take the luck out of profitability.…

The Advantages and Disadvantages of International Money Transfer Online Services

Advantages and disadvantages are attached to everything on the planet Earth. As far as money sending concerns; although the advancements in IT have made it possible to send money online in minutes, yet the dark side of the picture can not be overlooked along with appreciating the bright aspects. At first, let us take a view of the advantages of international money transfer online services:

  • The first and the most prominent benefit we get from these services is the rapidity. Gone are the days when people had to wait for weeks for transaction of money. At present, you can transfer money online from one place to another in minutes.
  • Various banks have featured power transfer, which enables you to track the money online whether you are a recipient or a sender of that money.
  • Lots of banks have featured remittance. With the help of this feature, you can receive money in your local currency and use right after you receive it.
  • Another benefit is that you can send money straightly to bank accounts via online banking now-a-days.
  • Online money transfer services have provided a platform to online business-groups where they can move fast and grow rapidly without wasting time in the formalities of sending money offline like waiting for the checks to clear.

Having walked through the advantages which online money transaction offers, now let us turn to the disadvantages it bears.

  • The weightiest disadvantage is the transfer fee taken by international money transfer online services. You must have to pay some fee to them, otherwise it is impossible to utilize the services.
  • Sometimes involvement of credit card and debit card in online money transfer leads to losses. In other words, you money is not hundred percent secure in process.
  • Some websites are used to keep money temporarily in case money is not sent directly to bank account. The user passwords for these websites can be hacked by hackers resulting in the loss of money.
  • When you send money online, you have to face the technical difficulties of the process.
  • You have to be patient because long queues are quiet usual in online money transaction.
  • The quick transaction in debit cards causes difficulties in recovering lost funds.

By and large, online money transfer services are neither from heaven nor from hell. In spite of all their advantages, lots of people rely more upon offline money transaction. And in spite of all their disadvantages, a huge percentage of the world population utilizes international money transfer online services on regular bases.…

Starting a Homemade Pasta Making Business

Starting a Homemade Pasta Making Business

The first thing that you should know if you are starting a homemade pasta making business is the basic process of making fresh pasta. This kind of pasta is made from fresh ingredients and has a shorter shelf life compared to the commercially made or dry pasta.

Manufacturing fresh pasta is better because the business owner can tailor fit it to the consumer’s needs and demands in terms of the shape, size, color and flavor of the finished product.

Below are some suggested steps in starting a homemade pasta making business, categorized into: Initial Stage, Regulatory Compliance and Marketing.

Initial Stage

• Create and perfect your own recipe that you think will sell and will come out the same way every time you prepare it. Have your family and friends taste them and ask for feedback.

• As in any business, when you are starting a homemade pasta making business, prepare a business plan which would contain the goals and business projections that you have set. This will guide you in the actual running of the business and to help you gauge if the business is doing good or not.

• Purchase your ingredients and supplies like bags and packaging supplies. Decide on how you intend to package your homemade pasta. You could pack it in a freezer-safe bag where the consumers can freeze it, refrigerate it or eat it immediately. It could also come in cellophane bags. You could search online for bulk suppliers for these items. You will be able to save money and will help create a professional and consistent look. Design your own labels on your computer and print them out or you could ask a professional designer to create them for you and order your labels in bulk. Make sure to include the cooking and serving instructions in the labels.

• Purchase equipments that you don’t already have to make the preparation of large batches of your recipes a lot faster and easier.

• Determine a wholesale price list for all your products. Factor in all the cost that you will be incurring in producing you homemade pasta like the ingredients, facility cost, packaging and labor cost. This should be drawn up in a spreadsheet form which would include the retail as well as bulk prices for each of your product. This information will be useful to your future retailers because it will show the proof of the profit they will be making if they sell your homemade pasta in their stores.

Regulatory Compliance

• Since you will be starting a homemade pasta making business and producing a food product, you need to get in touch with your local and state health departments to inquire about permit and licensing requirements.

• Make sure that you could sell the products that are produced from your home kitchen because different states have different laws regarding homemade food products. These information are available online from your state’s Department of Health website or …