Tag: Guide

Small Business Startup Guide #business #card #dimensions


#small business startup

#

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Using a business continuity plan template: A free business continuity template and guide #business

#business continuity plan

#

Using a business continuity plan template: A free business continuity template and guide

FREE DOWNLOAD:

SearchDisasterRecovery’s business continuity template

For many professionals, these steps present a formidable challenge. To make the process easier, people seek out alternatives, such as software, templates, checklists, or consultants. While each of these options can build a plan and its associated program elements, too often these tools are used to get something done quickly. Typically, the process involves some data gathering and interviewing, followed by a fill-in-the-blanks process that somehow magically creates a finished product.

SearchDisasterRecovery.com has created a free downloadable business continuity template to assist you in your business continuity planning. Download and print out our template, and then read the step-by-step guide below to create a successful business continuity plan .

A GUIDE TO USING OUR BUSINESS CONTINUITY TEMPLATE

Here’s a look a the structure and content of the template, indicating key issues to address and activities to perform.

  • Initial data: If you have identified various people to contact in an incident, locate their contact information at the front of the plan, so you won’t have to waste valuable seconds paging through a lengthy document.
  • Revision management: Have a page that reflects your change management process.
  • Purpose and scope (Sections 1.1 through 1.6): Provide details on these attributes, as well as assumptions, team descriptions, a list of terms, and other background information.
  • How to use the plan (Sections 1.7.1 through 1.7.4): Provide information on circumstances under which the plan will be activated, including outage time frames, who declares a disaster, and who should be contacted on this situation.
  • Provide policy information (Section 1.7.5): this is a good place to use standards documents as references.
  • Emergency response and management (Section 1.7.6): Specify situations in which the plan is to be activated and response procedures.
  • Use step-by-step procedures (Sections 1.7.7 through 1.7.10): These are easier to follow than broad general statements such as relocate to alternate building that require considerable details to work properly.
  • Describe how often the plan is to be reviewed and updated, and by whom (Section 1.8).
  • Assuming a situation has occurred, Section 2 provides steps to take to address it; these can be in the form of checklists (useful to keep track of scheduled and completed tasks) and flow diagrams that provide a high-level view of response and recovery.
  • Information needs to be gathered before officially declaring a disaster; this includes damage assessment data and first-hand reports from staff and first responders; convene meetings as needed with key emergency team members to evaluate the facts before proceeding to a declaration.
  • Section 3 addresses actions to take when it becomes obvious that management needs to declare a disaster. A damage assessment can be initiated either before or after the declaration; it is up to company management.
  • Section 4 provides detailed instructions on recovering operations, relocating to an alternate site and related activities.
  • Detailed appendices are provided in Section 5; these include lists and contact details on all emergency teams, primary and alternate vendors, alternate work space locations. and other relevant information. It is very important to keep this information up to date.
  • Additional forms can be found in Appendix 5.7; these should be developed in advance, validated by exercising (as is the entire plan) and kept in a ready-to-use format.

GENERAL BUSINESS CONTINUITY PLANNING TIPS

Here’s a checklist of things to keep in mind during business continuity planning:

  • Take the process seriously. If you want to protect your business from unplanned events that could disrupt operations, create a plan. It doesn’t have to be hundreds of pages long. It just needs the right information, and that information should be current and accurate.
  • Use disaster recovery/business continuity standards as a starting point. Almost two dozen business continuity standards are available worldwide. In the U.S. several options are currently in use:
    1. NFPA 1600 (the current U.S. national standard)
    2. BSI BS 25999 (the British standard)
    3. FFIEC Business Continuity Handbook (used by the banking and finance sectors)
    4. DRII/DRJ Generally Accepted Principles (GAP)
  • Keep it simple. Less can definitely be more in this situation, unless the user is primarily a technology-based group, such as IT.
  • Limit content to actual disaster response actions. Assuming you are creating a plan to respond to specific incidents, include only the information needed for the response and subsequent recovery.
  • Make it happen. Once the business continuity plan is complete, exercise it to ensure that the documented procedures make sense in the sequence indicated.
  • Be flexible. A single template may not be universally applicable to all department and/or locations in your organization; consider other templates, software or consultants.

The keys to a creating a successful business continuity plan are to define step-by-step procedures for response and recovery, validate these activities through periodic exercising, and maintain the plan and its various components up to date.

More business continuity template resources

About this author:
Paul F. Kirvan, FBCI, CBCP, CISSP, has more than 20 years experience in business continuity management as a consultant, author and educator. He is also secretary of the Business Continuity Institute USA Chapter.

This was first published in April 2009


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Communications Guide: How to Improve Your Communication Skills #new #small #business #loans


#business communication skills

#

A Crash Course in Communication Need a quick refresher on effective interpersonal interaction? Two communication experts offer 12 steps to smoother conversations. Lost in Translation Thanks to e-mail, BlackBerrys, and text messaging, the face-to-face encounter is becoming a dying art. Here’s why you should revive it. The Power of Listening How does an old-line manufacturer in a stagnant industry manage to grow 25% a year for 10 years? By taking its employees seriously. Do as I Say: Quick Tips for Masterful Communication Tired of doing all the talking and not having your message get through to your staff? Try these suggestions to improve your leadership communication skills. Just Listen to Yourself Tape yourself to better understand your communications style. Powerful Questions Can Have a Powerful Effect Questions can be one of the most effective communication tools available to us. Do you use questions enough in your day-to-day interactions? When Do You Lie? Strategies For More Authentic, Respectful Communication Lies come in all shapes, sizes and colors. (Ever heard of flat-out, teensy or white lies?) This article focuses on when it’s appropriate, if at all, to lie. 10 Tips for Communicating Change Transition is inevitable, but exactly what you say and how you say it can make a major impact on how change is handled in your company. How to Motivate Employees Kevin Plank, founder of Under Armour, says it is vital to maintain regular face-to-face communication with employees even as a company expands. The 4-1-1 On Constructive Criticism Being critical is easy, and offering criticism seems easier still. Yet constructive criticism – – the more refined and effective brand of critical feedback – – is like an art. Lost in the Translation Tips on communicating with employees who don’t speak English.
How to Say You’re Sorry Apologizing is part of doing business. But do it wrong, and you’ll really be sorry. Tips on Becoming a Good Conversationalist In this excerpt from How to Work a Room: The Ultimate Guide to Savvy Socializing in Person and Online learn tips for becoming a talk target — someone with whom it is easy to make conversation.
10 Tips for Successful Networking Keith Ferrazzi needs two PalmPilots to keep track of all his contacts, people like Bill Clinton and Michael Milken. But there’s far more to cracking the inner circle of the power elite than just taking names.

Powerful Presentations Small-business columnist Rhonda Abrams shares nine strategies for giving powerful presentations. Reinventing the PowerPoint New tech tools to liven your tired old PowerPoint presentations–and give your online marketing efforts a boost. Perfecting Your Pitch Check out these tips from entrepreneurs and business experts on creating pitches that can help you raise capital. More Power Than Point PowerPoint (or “presentation software”) has become the lingua franca of American business. It’s also become the problem with American business. Best of the Net: Power Brokers When it comes to presentation software, most users agree there’s one clear standard. We’ve found some Web-based resources to help you make your point. Captivate Audiences with Powerful Presentations Do you want your speeches to pack a punch? Professional speaker and speech consultant Patricia Fripp offers ideas on humor, movement, and vocal techniques. Short and Sweet: Mastering Quick Presentations Called on to make a brief speech? Professional speaker and speech coach Patricia Fripp offers tips for saying what you want, short and sweet. Present Before You Propose Improve your presentation by saving handouts until the end. Finding the Perfect Pitch Watch three rookies gear up for the investor presentation of a lifetime. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Presenters Entrepreneurs learn pretty quickly that making a verbal pitch to investors is very different from submitting a written business plan. Here are seven good practices gleaned from a venture-capital boot camp. Elements of a Winning Pitch A presentation to potential investors in your business — to family, friends, or angels — should include most of these elements.

Escape From Meeting Hell It’s time for another soul-sapping, oxygen-depriving, time-wasting, mind-numbing company meeting. Or is it? We offer 15 clever solutions to the problems with most meetings. Meetings Go Virtual Web conferencing and other collaboration technologies — tools that help people work with one another through their computers — have become more available and affordable. This is a boon for smaller companies whose only previous collaboration option was to gather workers in a room with coffee, donuts and a whiteboard. Meetings 101: Was That a Good Meeting, or a Bad One? Five simple factors that help ensure every meeting is a good meeting. Tools for Boosting Communication Effectiveness Tips on how to boost the effectiveness of communication in meetings, during change initiatives, and in interviews. Advice on Getting the Most Out of Meetings Keith Lamb shares some advice on getting the most out of your meetings. Cure the Sick-Meeting Ills Ineffective meetings may be wasting time and lowering morale. Two communication experts offer seven strategies for dramatically improving your meetings. How to Manage Meetings More Effectively A look at companies that hold unique meetings for developing products, building camaraderie, generating ideas, and reviewing employees’ needs and achievements.

Writing and Organizing a Winning Speech Public speaker and speech consultant Patricia Fripp suggests following one of two basic outlines for your speech. She also offers speechwriting tips. Polishing and Rehearsing for a Perfect Presentation You’ve written a speech, but there’s still work to do before delivering it. Patricia Fripp gives six suggestions for making sure your speech hits home along with several ideas on effective rehearsing. Deliver a Stellar Speech Powerful presentations happen when you check out the room in advance and work to connect with the audience when talking. Patricia Fripp offers ideas for ensuring that what you say is a smashing success. No More Pre-Speech Jitters From virtual reality therapy to positive visualization, we’ve got relaxation techniques to help offset your fears of public speaking. Free Speech Preparing for a big speech? Resources on the Web can help.

Work through Writer’s Block Need help working through some written projects? Two communication experts offer eight tips for clear and effective writing. Writing Well on the Web Content is king. Here are easy ways to make your website more reader-friendly. Polish Your Prose Poor grammar and punctuation in proposals and reports could cost you business. How to Blog The trick, say experts and longtime bloggers, is restraint. “For marketers, it’s about being more authentic, which is so ironic,” says one analyst.
How to Drive Traffic to Your Company’s Blog Driving traffic to your small business’ corporate blog takes equal parts old-fashioned marketing and contemporary Web tools.

Troubleshooting

Are You Assertive or Aggressive? Assertiveness is the skill that tops the list for success or failure in any workplace situation. Learn how to be more assertive — not aggressive — and apply it to your interactions. Get Your Point Across without Being Rude Is your communication style a little rough around the edges? Here are five techniques for saying what you mean without making enemies in the process. Communicating When People Leave You Speechless Improved communication is a nice idea, but can it work in the real world? Take a look at these real-life business issues and suggestions for better communication that may lead to better business.


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Put a price tag on your business: A guide to business valuation – Canada

#business valuation

#

Put a price tag on your business: A guide to business valuation

If you want to sell all or part of your business, you need to have an idea of its value. This information will help you understand the different approaches to business valuation, but you may want to seek professional guidance and advice. Prospective investors will also assess its value when they consider your proposal.

The process of determining the value is called valuation. You and the buyer or investor need to determine what you feel is an appropriate business valuation because it will be the basis for negotiating:

  • How much of your business the investor or buyer will purchase
  • How much the buyer or investor will pay (the price of the business or of its shares)
  • The return the buyer or investor can expect to earn

Ways of valuing a business

Valuation is not an exact science, and there are different ways of valuing a business. Each of these methods is based on different assumptions and financial information, which typically results in a different value for each method. For instance, you could base a valuation on the assets of a business (how much it owns) or by taking into account projected revenues or cash flows. Investors generally prefer methods based on cash flows. It s important to know about a variety of methods because they can be useful as benchmarks to check the validity of the value and the price you determine.

Earnings and cash flow-based methods:

  • Discounted cash flow
  • Going-concern value

Discounted cash flow

From the investor s perspective, this is usually the most accurate and effective way to estimate a business value because it is based on future cash flows. These cash flow figures reflect the amount of money that is estimated to come into the business and will ultimately determine the investor s return on investment. The discounted cash flow method is used to answer three critical questions:

  • Value: How much is your business worth today, based on what it will earn in the future?
  • Rate of return: What is the buyer s or investor s expected rate of return, given the amount invested and your business financial projections?
  • Equity share: How much equity will the buyer or investor receive for their investment?

The discounted-cash-flow method is often preferred because it can be more accurate than other methods. Its accuracy and complexity are due to the fact that it:

  • Uses cash flows: It takes into account the projected ups and downs of revenue over a period of time.
  • Discounts the cash flows: It adjusts the cash flows by a rate that is acceptable to the investor to account for risk and the time the investor must wait for a return.
How it works

In this method, cash flow predictions are discounted, or reduced, to adjust for the risk the investor faces and to make up for the fact that the investor could invest their money in something else.

Investors are looking to be compensated for their risk, and their benchmark rate or “discount rate” will adjust for the value of money over time. They will choose a discount rate and compare your proposal against that rate.

Advantages and disadvantages

The discounted cash flow method allows values to be estimated even when your cash flow is fluctuating. A start-up or new venture may expect to lose money in the first years and then make money in later years. These changes in cash flow are taken into account by the discounted cash flow method.

If you use this method, keep in mind that:

  • Its accuracy depends on the accuracy of your cash flow projections. That is why your financial data and assumptions are critical.
  • It is a complex process, so you may require professional guidance.
  • It can give you detailed estimates, but it is important to remember that business valuation is not an exact science your numbers will be based on assumptions and predictions of future performance.
Value: How much is your business worth today?

Let s say financiers are considering an investment in your business, but plan to take their money out in five years. To them, your business is worth today what it can earn during those five years, plus their share of the value of the business at the end of the five years. However, future cash flow numbers and the future value of the business are unknown. The discounted cash flow method applies adjustments or “discounts” to account for those unknowns.

Using this method, the value is the total of the cash flows, adjusted or discounted, plus the value remaining (or residual value), also discounted.

Rate of return: What rate of return will the investor expect?

Investors want to calculate their rate of return. To do that they must compare the amount of the investment to the amount they will earn at the end of the investment period. But how can they know what they will earn in the future? Again, they must use the discounted cash flow projections to estimate the future value of their investment. To do so, they will need to:

  • Estimate the cash flow in the final year
  • Estimate the value of the business based on the cash flow
  • Calculate the final value of their share in the business
  • Determine their rate of return
Value, return and exit strategy

The method used to calculate values and rates of return depends on the specific exit strategy used. Commonly-used methods include going-concern value, book value, and liquidation value.

Going-concern value

The going-concern value method calculates your business value based on its capacity to produce a stream of cash flow in the future. The greater the cash flow your business generates in the future, the higher your business value today.

How it works

The going concern value, like discounted cash flow, compares the current investment to the future receipts (cash inflows). This method uses the revenues of previous years to project future revenues, and it assumes those revenues will not change.

Book Value

This value is the net worth, or shareholders equity, of your business as shown in its financial statements. At its most simplified, subtracting your liabilities from your assets will give you your business net worth or book value. Book value can be described as the historical value of an asset that, at a given time (the day it was purchased), represented the economic or market value of the asset, less its accumulated depreciation.

How it works

To determine the book value, subtract your liabilities from the value of your assets. The difference gives you your net worth or shareholders equity. In practice, book value is seldom used in the process of securing venture capital, although it can be a realistic approach to measuring a small business net worth.

Liquidation value

A liquidation value is assigned to a business being sold in order to satisfy its creditors. Tangible assets, such as land, usually have a liquidation value close to their market value. Inventories and accounts receivable, on the other hand, are usually valued at less than what is shown in the books.

How it works

To determine the liquidation value, all assets are assigned distressed values, and all debts are totalled at book value. Most assets sold under duress are discounted from their fair market value. The difference between the distressed value of the assets and the actual or book value of the liabilities is referred to as the liquidation value.

The liquidation value doesn t reflect the real worth of an asset or a business; in most cases, it is substantially less than the market and book values. This method is typically used only if a business is in serious financial trouble.

Should I seek a financial advisor for help with valuation?

Business valuation is a complex task, and a financial advisor with experience in business valuation can be an invaluable asset.

A professional valuator can:

  • Provide the experience needed to accurately determine the value of your business
  • Offer an objective view of your business worth
  • Give investors more confidence in the credibility of your valuation

Conclusion

There is a saying in the venture capital industry: “The value of a business is only what someone is willing to pay for it.” In other words, the market, and your ability to attract investors and negotiate with them will determine the value or selling price.

Remember that many factors affect the value of your business. Seeking professional assistance can help you calculate an accurate value for your business.

Learn how to determine the value of your business and find ways to increase it.

What is a fair price to pay for a business? Read this article to learn how to estimate the value of a business.

Enlist the help of an expert who can quantify the worth of all, or part, of your business or its securities.

Was this information useful?


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Harvard Business Publishing – Business Information Guide – Subject Guides at Syracuse University Libraries

#harvard business publishing

#

Business Information Guide

PDF of step-by-step instructions on how to find HBR articles and case studies in Business Source Elite.

Significant reporting and analysis of management topics appear in the periodical Harvard Business Review . Syracuse University Libraries offers affiliated students, staff, and faculty full-text access to HBR articles and case studies online via the database Business Source Elite (which indexes HBR content back to 1922, with full-text article coverage from 1985 thru present).

Instructions for finding Harvard Business Review Articles Case Studies in Business Source Elite

NOTE: The case studies in HBR are short (around four pages each) and should not be confused with the premium Harvard Business Publishing case studies noted on this page under Harvard Case Studies.

Harvard Business Review 500
At the request of Harvard Business Publishing, EBSCO has made 500 of the most popular Harvard Business Review articles read only by disabling the printing, saving, and persistent linking functionality for these articles in Business Source Elite. All Business Source Elite subscribers (including SU Libraries) were offered the option to restore this basic functionality by paying an additional annual premium fee. When Syracuse University Libraries requested a quote from EBSCO to restore full access to the 500 HBR articles, we were presented with a significant five figure amount. SU Libraries is disinclined to pursue the option to restore full access to the HBR 500 by paying this premium. Not only is the price per article exorbitant, but more importantly, agreeing to such a fee in order to restore access to content for which we have already paid. could set a terrible precedent.

What matters and what we wish to emphasize is that, if HBP s new model catches on, having to essentially pay twice (or multiple times) for the same online content will erode the Libraries ability to provide other resources to the SU research community. In short, it s a zero-sum game when it comes to Libraries acquisitions that support research, and this development further adds to the costs of supporting scholarship. In declining to license with HBP under the proffered terms, the SU Libraries goal is to protect our ability to support research at SU to our utmost. While that may sound contradictory, at least in the short-term, in the long-term it most assuredly is not. To learn more about this, please see the blog post titled SU Libraries Stance on Restricted HBR Articles .

Harvard Business Review in Print

Print editions of the Harvard Business Review from 1922 to the present are available in Syracuse University Libraries’ print collection.

Harvard Case Studies

Harvard Business Publishing case studies cover all areas of management, business planning, marketing, accounting, finance, organizational behavior, entrepreneurship and more. The case studies range from 10 to 30 pages in length and often include an author provided guide, called a teaching note, on how to teach the case in the classroom.

These case studies should not be confused with the short case studies published in the Harvard Business Review and available in full text via SU Libraries’ database Business Source Elite.

Access to the Harvard Business Publishing case studies requires individual purchase of cases, including purchase of copyright permission in situations where multiple copies are desired. Harvard does not offer institutional subscriptions that permit an academic library to subscribe to these case studies.

  • Students and faculty visiting the HBP site can freely search and browse topics to identify case studies of interest
  • Access to the full-text case study PDFs requires individual purchase (often priced between $5 and $10 per case)
  • Options for student access to cases selected by faculty are available under a coursepack style access model (in some instances, students enrolled in such courses can receive purchase discounts on cases their faculty identify)
  • S.U. faculty interested in access (for themselves or their students) should explore detailed information about applying for Harvard Business Publishing’s Case Study “Educator Access”

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Small Business Financial Tools: Free Startup Budget Template and Guide #business #images


#small business startup

#

Essential Small Business Financial Tools: Free Startup Budget Template and Guide

Creating a startup budget is one of the most important tasks a new business owner will undertake. A startup budget serves as a roadmap for the business. It can help you understand where the business is going and whether you’re on the right path. The cost of starting a company varies widely, so it is critical to create an accurate and realistic startup budget specifically tailored to your business.

There are many reasons to create a startup budget. The main reasons are to figure out how much money you have, how much you will spend, and how much revenue you will need to meet your business goals. A startup budget is usually a key component of your business plan and is useful when applying for a loan or pitching to investors. It explains how your business will spend its resources to reach its goals.

Business owners should always refer to their budget before making important business expenditures. This helps to make sure they can afford to spend the money. Decisions such as purchasing new machinery or whether to expand operations should only be made after checking to make sure it fits into your budget. You can adjust your budget as needed over time, but make sure to stick to those changes.

Determining a business startup costs is critical to ensure enough cash is available to begin business operations on time and within the allotted budget. A startup budget usually covers the period leading up to the commencement of operations. It should only include costs that are necessary to start the business. Use this budget to be on the lookout for areas where you can save money .

Startup costs typically fall within two categories: monthly costs and one-time costs.

Monthly costs cover expenses that are incurred each month on a recurring basis. such as employee salaries, lease payments and utilities. One-time costs are expenses that are incurred only once during the startup period. Examples of one-time costs include the purchase of a building, computer equipment and consultant fees.

This startup budget template can be downloaded and used for any type of business. It should be customized to include the specific cost items that apply to the company.

To fill out this spreadsheet, determine the number of months the startup period will cover. Next, enter the applicable costs into their respective cells. The total amounts will automatically populate based on the embedded formulas. Once completed, you will be able to view an itemized list of your business’ startup costs. An example startup budget is also included to help guide you through the process.

Starting a business can be difficult and overwhelming. By taking the time to create an accurate startup budget now, you can give your business the best chance of succeeding in the future.


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Using a business continuity plan template: A free business continuity template and guide #magnetic

#business continuity plan

#

Using a business continuity plan template: A free business continuity template and guide

FREE DOWNLOAD:

SearchDisasterRecovery’s business continuity template

For many professionals, these steps present a formidable challenge. To make the process easier, people seek out alternatives, such as software, templates, checklists, or consultants. While each of these options can build a plan and its associated program elements, too often these tools are used to get something done quickly. Typically, the process involves some data gathering and interviewing, followed by a fill-in-the-blanks process that somehow magically creates a finished product.

SearchDisasterRecovery.com has created a free downloadable business continuity template to assist you in your business continuity planning. Download and print out our template, and then read the step-by-step guide below to create a successful business continuity plan .

A GUIDE TO USING OUR BUSINESS CONTINUITY TEMPLATE

Here’s a look a the structure and content of the template, indicating key issues to address and activities to perform.

  • Initial data: If you have identified various people to contact in an incident, locate their contact information at the front of the plan, so you won’t have to waste valuable seconds paging through a lengthy document.
  • Revision management: Have a page that reflects your change management process.
  • Purpose and scope (Sections 1.1 through 1.6): Provide details on these attributes, as well as assumptions, team descriptions, a list of terms, and other background information.
  • How to use the plan (Sections 1.7.1 through 1.7.4): Provide information on circumstances under which the plan will be activated, including outage time frames, who declares a disaster, and who should be contacted on this situation.
  • Provide policy information (Section 1.7.5): this is a good place to use standards documents as references.
  • Emergency response and management (Section 1.7.6): Specify situations in which the plan is to be activated and response procedures.
  • Use step-by-step procedures (Sections 1.7.7 through 1.7.10): These are easier to follow than broad general statements such as relocate to alternate building that require considerable details to work properly.
  • Describe how often the plan is to be reviewed and updated, and by whom (Section 1.8).
  • Assuming a situation has occurred, Section 2 provides steps to take to address it; these can be in the form of checklists (useful to keep track of scheduled and completed tasks) and flow diagrams that provide a high-level view of response and recovery.
  • Information needs to be gathered before officially declaring a disaster; this includes damage assessment data and first-hand reports from staff and first responders; convene meetings as needed with key emergency team members to evaluate the facts before proceeding to a declaration.
  • Section 3 addresses actions to take when it becomes obvious that management needs to declare a disaster. A damage assessment can be initiated either before or after the declaration; it is up to company management.
  • Section 4 provides detailed instructions on recovering operations, relocating to an alternate site and related activities.
  • Detailed appendices are provided in Section 5; these include lists and contact details on all emergency teams, primary and alternate vendors, alternate work space locations. and other relevant information. It is very important to keep this information up to date.
  • Additional forms can be found in Appendix 5.7; these should be developed in advance, validated by exercising (as is the entire plan) and kept in a ready-to-use format.

GENERAL BUSINESS CONTINUITY PLANNING TIPS

Here’s a checklist of things to keep in mind during business continuity planning:

  • Take the process seriously. If you want to protect your business from unplanned events that could disrupt operations, create a plan. It doesn’t have to be hundreds of pages long. It just needs the right information, and that information should be current and accurate.
  • Use disaster recovery/business continuity standards as a starting point. Almost two dozen business continuity standards are available worldwide. In the U.S. several options are currently in use:
    1. NFPA 1600 (the current U.S. national standard)
    2. BSI BS 25999 (the British standard)
    3. FFIEC Business Continuity Handbook (used by the banking and finance sectors)
    4. DRII/DRJ Generally Accepted Principles (GAP)
  • Keep it simple. Less can definitely be more in this situation, unless the user is primarily a technology-based group, such as IT.
  • Limit content to actual disaster response actions. Assuming you are creating a plan to respond to specific incidents, include only the information needed for the response and subsequent recovery.
  • Make it happen. Once the business continuity plan is complete, exercise it to ensure that the documented procedures make sense in the sequence indicated.
  • Be flexible. A single template may not be universally applicable to all department and/or locations in your organization; consider other templates, software or consultants.

The keys to a creating a successful business continuity plan are to define step-by-step procedures for response and recovery, validate these activities through periodic exercising, and maintain the plan and its various components up to date.

More business continuity template resources

About this author:
Paul F. Kirvan, FBCI, CBCP, CISSP, has more than 20 years experience in business continuity management as a consultant, author and educator. He is also secretary of the Business Continuity Institute USA Chapter.

This was first published in April 2009


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Air Conditioner Buying Guide – Best Buy #air #conditioner #service #car, #air #conditioner #buying

#

No matter where you live, it’s important to be prepared for the hottest days of the year with a reliable air conditioner. Whether you’re replacing an old window unit or installing through-the-wall air conditioners in your new home, we can help you find exactly what you’re looking for. Use this guide to explore the different types of air conditioners and the unique benefits and features available.

Topics in this Air Conditioner Buying Guide:

Choosing an Air Conditioner

When figuring out which type of air conditioner you need, consider the following:

  • Frequency of use
  • Room size
  • Whether it will be in a room with a lot of sun exposure or a kitchen with hot appliances
  • Whether it will be permanent or temporary

You’ll also want to make note of any significant features that would increase convenience for you, such as remote controls, noise damping technology or smart features.

Portable Air Conditioners

These types of air conditioners offer more flexibility than window or in-wall air conditioners since they don’t require permanent installation and can be moved from room to room. If you plan on transporting your portable unit regularly, be sure to find a model with casters since they can be quite heavy. These units use the air from inside the room to cool the condenser and exhaust the hot air out of a hose that vents through a window, sliding door, wall or ceiling. There are a few ways water is drained from portable air conditioners. In self-evaporating systems, often referred to as “swamp coolers,” the water condensation is recycled back into the air. If you buy a condensate pump, excess water will be pumped outside through a hose. Other models require you to manually empty the water tank every few hours.

Advantages of a portable air conditioner:

  • Easy set up and doesn’t require permanent installation
  • Can be moved from room to room
  • Casters for easy movement
  • Timer
  • Remote control

Hose systems vs. evaporative systems

Units with hose systems use air from the room to cool their condensers. Units with evaporative systems don’t have a compressor or condenser. Instead, they evaporate water which absorbs heat, cooling the air. They don’t need hoses to vent heat outside, which makes them more portable than hose systems.

Advantages of an evaporative cooler:

  • Beneficial in dry climates since it adds moisture to the air
  • More portable than hose systems
  • Requires constant supply of water
  • Must be well maintained because of potential mold and bacteria

Shop:

Window Air Conditioners

Available in a number of sizes and cooling capacities, these types of units can be used as a primary cooling source in a room, or in combination with your central AC. Before purchasing a window unit, you’ll want to take measurements to ensure it will properly fit your window. You’ll also want to look at the outlet in your wall to make sure it’s compatible with the kind of plug on the AC unit.

Window units are made for three different types of windows standard, slider and casement. These units are installed in an open window with the hot air exhaust facing outside and the cool air return system facing inside. A shaded window will offer extra cooling efficiency.

Fixed chassis vs. slide-out chassis

A chassis is a frame that supports the air conditioner. It’s important to note whether the chassis is fixed or not because units with a slide-out chassis can be installed in a window or a wall, while a fixed-chassis unit can only be installed in a window. A slide-out chassis enables easy maintenance and cleaning since the inside of the machine is easily accessible once you slide out the chassis.

Advantages of a window air conditioner:

  • Allows for extra floor space
  • Easy to install and uninstall
  • Some models have a slide-out chassis
  • Timer
  • Remote control
  • Requires installation
  • Takes up window space
  • Limited to use in one room

Through-the-Wall Air Conditioners

Wall air conditioners are very similar to window air conditioners with the main difference being that they sit in your wall instead of in a window opening. These units exhaust heat and humidity from the room to the outside and fit through a hole in an exterior wall. They require a sleeve, which is a metal device that holds the air conditioner in the wall to support its weight. If you already have a sleeve installed, you’ll need to identify what type it is. If there’s no existing sleeve and you need to put a hole in your wall, professional installation is recommended.

Slide-out chassis vs. through-the-wall sleeves

Slide-out chassis air conditioners come as one unit the chassis and the sleeve. These units vent through the sides and the back of the air conditioner. Through-the-wall air conditioners do not come with a sleeve. Sleeves are sold separately and these units only vent through the back of the air conditioner.

Advantages of a through-the-wall air conditioner:

  • Typically available in higher cooling capacities than window units
  • Allows for extra window space
  • Can be placed almost anywhere
  • Airtight and secure fit
  • Remote control
  • Timer
  • Digital thermostat
  • Labor intensive installation
  • More difficult than window units to uninstall
  • Weighs slightly more than window units

BTUs

BTUs (British Thermal Units) measure the amount of heat an air conditioner can remove from the air over a given period of time. The higher the number, the greater the cooling capacity, but bigger isn’t always better. In order to properly cool a room you have to match the BTU capacity of the air conditioner to the dimensions of the room that needs cooling. An underpowered air conditioner won’t cool a large room properly. On the other hand, one that has too high of a BTU rating cools the area so quickly that it doesn’t have time to dehumidify the air, which can leave the space feeling cold and clammy.

When selecting the appropriate BTU rating to match a room by square feet, consider ceiling height, sizes of windows and doorways, and whether the unit will be in a sunny room or a kitchen with extra heat from appliances.

Use the chart below to help you find the right BTU capacity for your space

AREA TO BE COOLED (SQUARE FEET)

CAPACITY RECOMMENDED (BTUs PER HOUR)

Installing a Window Unit

All window air conditioners come with an installation kit and you can usually install them yourself. You may need to attach a support bracket to the windowsill to support the weight of the unit. Be sure to use caution and have someone help you lift the air conditioner since they can be very heavy. Attach the accordion-like panels to the side of the unit and then set it on the support bracket, making sure it snaps into place. Once the air conditioner is secure, lower the window on top of it and extend the panels to both sides of the frame and screw them into place. Then, fill any gaps with foam weather stripping to provide a tight seal that will prevent heat, dust and insects from getting inside.

Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency Ratings (EERs) are numbers that measure the amount of energy a unit requires to deliver a given amount of cooling. A higher EER translates to lower relative energy use. Units with a high EER are usually more expensive initially, but may save you money in the long run by reducing your monthly energy costs. Weigh the price increase of more efficient models against the potential savings on your energy bill to find out if a high-efficiency unit is the right choice for you.

ENERGY STAR Certified Air Conditioners

Look for air conditioners with the ENERGY STAR label to reduce your energy bills and to help protect the environment. These air conditioners meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. They use less energy than non-certified models, making them environmentally friendly and saving you money.

Accessories

To properly install your air conditioner and keep it in good condition you may need a few accessories. If you’re installing a window air conditioner, you might need a support bracket to support its weight. If you’re installing a through-the-wall air conditioner, you’ll need a sleeve to support its weight, unless you have a slide-out chassis air conditioner that already comes with a sleeve as part of the unit. Replacement filters will keep your air conditioner performing smoothly long after you install it. Other accessories are available for convenience purposes. For instance, if your air conditioner doesn’t come with a remote control, you might be able to purchase a compatible one separately. You can find all of these accessories and more at Best Buy.

Shop Online or In Store

Find a wide variety of air conditioners on BestBuy.com. Your local Best Buy store also has a selection of air conditioners. Plus, our friendly Blue Shirts are there to answer questions and help with choosing the best air conditioner for your needs.

Need to beat the heat sooner? You can order online and pick up at a store near you in as little as 45 minutes.


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Study guide online #study #guide #online


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Welcome

Welcome to the renovated version of Preceptaustin.org, which is now phone friendly and database driven allowing us to easily manage content by Bible book and/or topic. Once you get over the shock of the new look, hopefully it will be easier to find all of the resources on a Bible passage or topic of interest (and new resources will be added almost every day). You will also find new search boxes on the right side of most pages, which include various resources such as Wikipedia which has a surprisingly large number of topics related to Christianity, albeit it is best used with a healthy “Acts 17:11+ mindset.” And don’t overlook the useful English dictionary search box, which is a superb collection of works which will enable you to hone your prose and preaching with polish and precision. Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Theology is also an excellent resource to help solve theological conundrums (review ).

HOW TO FIND THE OLD COLLECTIONS
OF SERMONS AND COMMENTARIES

(1) On the old site one could access the Collections from a drop down menu at the top of the page which allowed one to select the book of interest. This old drop down menu is now on the right side of the page and is designated “Collections of Commentaries Sermons ” below which is the button labeled “Choose Book of the Bible to Study .” Click this tab and you will see a list of hundreds of sermons and commentaries on each book of the Bible. In the old site some of these resources were on a second page, but we are in the process of moving them to one page to facilitate easier access.

(2) Another way to get to the “Collections of Commentaries Sermons ” is by clicking the Commentaries button (Between “Home” and “Topics”) and it will take you to a list of all 66 books. Click on a book of the Bible (e.g. Philippians ) and under “Collections ” select “PhilippiansCommentaries ” to retrieve a compilation of numerous sermons and commentaries on that book of the Bible. The advantage of this method of navigation is that you will also see a list of Devotionals and Miscellaneous articles that relate to that book of the Bible.

(3) References or Resources associated with Verse Commentaries – On the old site, verse commentaries usually had a Reference Table above the commentary notes which provided links to sermons, commentaries or illustrations related to the verse (See picture of old reference table ). The old Reference Table has been replaced by Resources by Chapter which is found at the top of the page (also on right side of page) of each commentary. For example, select Philippians 1:1 Commentary and notice at the top of the page is a link to Philippians 1 Resources which presents multiple related resources identical to those found on the old reference table. There is no listing of Resources by Chapter if a Verse by Verse commentary has not been written.

(4) The Devotionals now update automatically each day.

WHY FIX WHAT WAS
NOT BROKEN?

Why did we renovate Preceptaustin.org which did not ostensibly seem to be “broken”? Primarily because the HTML coding had become “bloated ” and obsolete and it seemed increasingly likely that the web hosting company we were using would soon no longer support Frontpage . our web authoring system, a “technological dinosaur” that was discontinued by Microsoft over 13 years ago! Indeed, given the atrocious HTML source code Frontpage created, it is clear we have been running on God’s amazing grace for quite some time! The final straw was when Microsoft withdrew support for Windows XP which is the system needed to run Frontpage.

Clearly whenever one converts more than 2000 web pages to a new format there may be a few “hiccups ,” so bear with us as we put the finishing touches on the site. And we implore you to please use the Contact Us form to let us know if you have problems, and be sure to include the URL of the problem page. We will respond to all comments and/or complaints.


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Mazuma – s Holiday Business Gift Giving Guide: Part 3, Do – s and

#business gifts

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Mazuma s Holiday Business Gift Giving Guide: Part 3, Do s and Don ts of Client Gift Giving

If you re planning on holiday gift giving for clients, customers, and employees this year, we ve got you covered! We covered what to give and who to give it to, what’s tax deductible, and now we re talking Do s and Dont s of holiday gift giving.

-Give. Don’t promote. You have all year to promote your business; allow the holidays to be a time to focus on your clients and let them know how grateful you are for them.

-Send a card. A handwritten card or personal email can be meaningful and memorable. Gift giving has lost its personal touch over the years and your client will love getting a special note from yours truly, with or without a gift.

-Keep an ongoing list of employees, clients, service providers, and others who make your business great throughout the year. The holidays are a busy time of year, making it easy to forget someone. Keeping a small list throughout the year will ease your holiday stress and keep you from overspending at the last minute.

-Set a budget. Not all client gifts are equal, but you do need to have a budget in place before you start shopping. Check out our post on tax deductible gifts (link) and amounts here before deciding how much to spend.

-Check into a company’s gift giving and receiving policy before shipping your presents. The larger the company, the more likely a specific policy is in place. You don’t want to spend unnecessary cash on a contact who is not allowed to accept your gesture. However, a hand written card will almost always suffice and show your genuine appreciation!

-Don’t wait until the last minute. Keep in mind many people take a lengthy break from work to travel during the Christmas season, so sending a gift to a client’s office on December 23 rd may not work. Try to have your gifts sent out early in December to ensure on-time delivery.

-Don’t feel pressure to run out and buy a nice gift for everyone who sends you one. Again, a quick way to go over budget and not always necessary. However, be sure to send a nice thank you card expressing your gratitude or a holiday card, and add that person to the list for the next year, if need be.

-Don’t send gifts that are too personal or religious. Keep it professional in the work place and avoid gifts like clothing, perfume, and other items people have personal (and sometimes very strong!) opinions about.

-Don’t be a brown-noser. Give gifts because you’re grateful for your client, employee, boss, etc. and keep it at that. Don’t try to out-do another employee or company and keep in mind that as long as your gift is genuine and sincere, the recipient will appreciate the gesture.

The best holiday gift to give comes from the heart. Be genuine and sincere and your clients and employees are sure to appreciate the heartfelt gesture.


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