Tag: it

Client Christmas cards – how to get it right #business #listing

#business christmas cards

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Client Christmas cards – how to get it right

by HCA | Dec 19, 2013

The holidays are a time of comfort and joy—not a time to unleash your inner cynic. The fact remains, however, that nearly everyone on your corporate holiday mailing list knows your gift, card or e-greeting is really an end-of-the-year marketing pitch. A soft sell to be sure, but a marketing pitch nonetheless.

That doesn’t give you full reign to impersonate Ebeneezer Scrooge, however. According to etiquette expert Thomas P Farley—known colloquially as “Mister Manners”—holiday business greetings are a rewarding exercise and a great way to improve client relations, provided you get it right.

“This is an opportunity to get back on the radar with your clients in a meaningful way,” Farley said. “If it’s not meaningful, you’re better off not doing anything at all.”

With that in mind, here are five timely tips for wishing your clients a happy holiday season.

If possible, send a personalized, handwritten card. Operating on a tight budget may prevent you from sending mass-mailed holiday cards to all your clients, but if you can afford the extra effort, it’s worth it.

“An e-greeting can be annoying because they’re often difficult to open and they may not make it to the individual,” said Dianne Gottsman, a national etiquette expert and owner of the Protocol School of Texas. “Handwritten cards breed goodwill.”

Farley agrees, adding that generic e-greetings often “get deleted the moment they’re sent.”

Instead, Farley recommends putting pen to paper and using the opportunity to make a comment specific to the individual, perhaps drawing on a business lunch or meeting the two of you attended.

Choose a tasteful, appropriate design. As head of custom design at California-based Tiny Prints, Heidi Reichert has seen a lot of corporate holiday cards over the years. The best, she said, always “reflect the professionalism” of the company.

“We’ve seen really silly photos or things that might be construed as offensive—maybe it’s a photo of the employees doing shots or something like that,” Reichert said. “It might seem funny at the time, but you never know what your audience might think when they get it.”

Instead, Reichert recommends using photos that are appropriate and professional, along with designs that stand out from the ubiquitous red-and-green that don most holiday greetings. Lime greens and blues are especially popular this season.

Avoid blatant endorsements of religion or cultural traditions. One thing Farley, Gottsman and Reichert all agreed on was that it’s best to “assume nothing” when it comes to recipients’ religious or cultural traditions.

“Being very safe and respectful is the key,” said Gottsman, who added that a neutral “Happy Holidays” is preferable to endorsing Christmas, Kwanzaa, or other holidays.

However, Farley said this rule applies only to the card design itself. Inside, it’s appropriate to wish someone a “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Hanukah,” provided you definitely know your client celebrates that holiday. “It makes your greeting that much more meaningful and warm,” Farley said.

Keep out logos and business cards. Resist the urge to plaster your greeting with your company logo, or stuff the package full of coupons or business cards.
“This is the time for the soft-sell. You’re not pitching, you’re not doing client business,” Farley advised. “The card itself is all the selling you should really be doing.”

While logos do have a place on a corporate card, it should be done in a tasteful way, said Reichert. Placing the logo below your signature or on the back of the card is a nice way to make the card stand out as something personalised by the business, she said.

Send cards and gifts as soon as possible. Now is the time to send out your holiday greetings and gifts, if you haven’t already. The earlier the better, given many companies close up shop the week of Christmas.

If you’ve missed the deadline, however, Gottsman says you can never go wrong with a New Year card, which should be in the mail before Christmas Day.

The bottom line with all these dos and don’ts, however, is that despite your business, your budget or your byline, your holiday greeting should come from the heart.

“If someone is actually taking the time to write a personal message, that’s going to trump even the worst card design,” Farley said. “Even if the card itself is something you get for 50% off at the local dollar store, the fact that you’ve included a personal message is far more impressive than the most stunning card with nothing inside.”

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Small business: 21 tips from entrepreneurs who are killing it #lucrative #business #ideas

#small business tips

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21 tips from small businesses that are killing it

STARTING a small business is a dream for many Australians, but it can be daunting.

Here, entrepreneurs who are killing it in a range of industries share their best piece of advice for making your company a success.

1. Deliver a consistent customer experience.

Damian Cerini, owner of cycling tour business Tour de Vines, says you need your business to almost run itselfbefore you look at growth. The thing about working for an employer is that the business model is already set, it s about the execution of the idea, whereas a new business is about testing the idea first and developing the systems.

2. Add a personal touch.

Angus Askew, co-director of commercial asset financing company Magnolia Lane Financial Services, says: In our industry like most service industries everyone is essentially selling the same thing, you ve just got to do it better. Our number one goal when dealing with a new client is to establish a relationship and make them feel special. Make sure you are remembered. We make it our priority to see all of our customers face to face. Create a rapport as this is what will result in repeat business and an income stream for life.

3. Leverage social media.

A strong marketing strategy is essential in every industry, says Anthony Kittel, director of manufacturing firm REDARC. That means social networking on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or all of the above. Our brand is everything, so whatever we can do to promote that brand and consumer awareness is critical.

Author and Flying Solo editor Kelly Exeter says a less frantic life made her more productive.

4. Write your own business bible.

Matthew White, whose firm Ergoflex sells memory foam mattresses, says the volume of information available can be overwhelming. He recommends writing ideas and tips in a notebook or tablet as they come up. It has helped me make some major decisions, and also saved me hours of searching for something I ve read somewhere.

5. Focus on your specialty.

In the first few years, there can be a lot of pressure to diversify your offering, says Paris Cutler, director of cake decorating company Planet Cake. Stick to what you do best and do it better and with more focus than anyone else.

6. Outsource the things you don t do.

Resist the temptation to chase work outside your offering, and use a specialist to fill in any gaps, says Rhys Roberts from accountancy firm Viridity. I outsource my HR, my IT, much of my marketing and more. The time you free up you can spend doing what you are good at.

7. Aim high and be persistent.

Determination is one of the vital qualities needed when you start on the long road of setting up a small business. Rochelle Miller, co-founder of fashion retailer Another Love, says: Believe in yourself and your strengths. Don t take no for an answer. There will be bumps along the way, but everything has a solution or another option.

Consultant Andrew Griffiths thinks about ways to improve his business each day.

8. Embrace a life less frantic.

Kelly Exeter, author and editor of small business community Flying Solo says it s all about finding the right balance for you. I am learning that I don t just need physical space to thrive, I need mental space too.

9. Follow your own path.

Designer and illustrator Beci Orpin says she s not naturally business-minded, but has always worked really hard and built up a strong folio of work. My business is all about me: my style and what I create, so an important part of developing that was staying true to myself not worrying about what other people were doing.

10. Take time out to think about how to improve.

Use your best hour in the day to consider ways of moving forward, advises Andrew Griffiths, a small business author and consultant. He does this first thing every morning. Then, each Friday, I find a quiet place and ask myself a question: How is my business better this week than it was last week?

11. Harness your keystone habits .

Entrepreneur and blogger James Clear says we should find the one or two habits or routines that make everything else fall into place. Improving your lifestyle and becoming the type of person who has their act together isn t nearly as hard as you might think.

Life coach Kathryn Hocking researches what competitors are doing.

12. Practise mindfulness.

Freelance journalist and editor Jodie Macleod says it increases productivity, reduces stress and improves memory and focus. Mindfulness is when you are aware of your thoughts, feelings, sensations, breath and everything occurring in the present moment, without attaching judgment to those observations.

13. Every setback is a stepping stone to success.

Lucinda Lions from branding agency Slogan Creator says it s important to stay positive wherever possible, and see feedback, not failure. I remind myself tomorrow is a brand new day, a new opportunity to think differently and make better choices.

14. Hire from within your networks.

When Sarah Wilson from I Quit Sugarbegan feeling overwhelmed with work, she decided to get an assistant. She put a call out to her community, knowing taking someone on would involve sacrifice. Five years later, they still have a successful working relationship. Start out small and then leave the invitation open for expansion.

15. Keep it manageable.

Kate James, start-up coach at Total Balance, says it s important to remember that it s not all about non-stop growth bigger isn t better if you ve stopped enjoying what you do. You need to define your own version of success. Mine is that I need to love my business.

Sarah Wilson says you need to know when to ask for help. Source: Supplied

16. Know when to work for free.

Vanessa Emilio from Legal123, says sometimes working for free is worth it. Free doesn t mean offering an entire job or product for free. It could mean a free initial consultation, free component of a project or complimentary muffin with every coffee.

17. Stay excited and believe in your business.

SEO copywriter and consultant Kate Toon says start-ups should think about clients needs and possible issues and create rational responses to persuade them your business is the solution. Inject warmth, professionalism and even humour, where appropriate. Being human beats boring every time.

18. Learn to say no.

Recognise when a client has unrealistic expectations and nip it in the bud early, or consider referring them on, says author and media commentator Andrew Griffiths.

Try a formal, structured response and keep returning to it. Try, Thank you for the opportunity, but we are so heavily committed we can t give your project the time and attention it needs.

If you re on a tight marketing budget, think about how you can trigger word-of-mouth interest. Warren Harmer of The Business Plan Company mentions a small florist that did this brilliantly by 1) Offering quality; 2) Providing value; 3) Inspiring team members to love their job and clients and 4) Creating a physical environment that excited their market.

20. Turn competition into inspiration.

Life coach Kathryn Hocking suggests you research what competitors are doing to help identify what makes you unique. Your relationship doesn t have to be adversarial: they could be a mentor, partner or friend. Focus on your own purpose and connect with peers that have similar values and who inspire you to greater levels of success.

21. Know when to take a dream detour .

Sometimes it s hard to know whether to grab a fresh opportunity or stick to your path. Business mentor Lynda Bayada says you need to outsmart your head so you can listen to your heart. Give yourself space and trust yourself. And you ll find that s half the battle won.





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IT Financial Management: What vs #austin #business #journal

#business finance

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IT Financial Management: What vs. How

If you don t know where you are going, then any road will get you there.

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Most enterprises understand the benefits that can be derived from increasing IT cost transparency, managing IT like a business, and improving the interaction between IT and business units. Yet, despite the inherent understanding behind these admirable goals, many IT financial management initiatives and implementation projects fail to live up to expectations. They either miss their expected goals, or worse, completely fail.

Industry analysts have substantiated this claim for years, indicating that on an IT management maturity scale of 1 to 5 (with 5 being highest maturity), the average U.S. large or mid-market enterprise hovers around a dismal 2 on this scale. Clearly, there is a gap between desired goals and operational execution; expectations are not met.

Applying discipline to the IT financial management what you are implementing and how you and your team are going to implement it. Just as important for everyone on your team is to grasp which one comes first. In other words, an enterprise needs to fully understand the imperative (the what ) versus the means (the how ) to effectively increase maturity in IT financial management processes in order to attain a desired stage of IT maturity.

So let s start by discussing the difference between the what and the how. Many times enterprises believe that what they are implementing is an IT financial management software application tool. This perception is incorrect and seriously flawed. What they are implementing is a set of IT financial management processes. The software application or tool is how this process will be delivered. Simply stated, the what is the process or set of processes that are being implementing, and the how is merely the tool that will be used to facilitate and support the processes.

Next, let s discuss the order in which the what and the how need to be addressed. In most aspects of life, a person decides on what they want to do before they determine how they will do it. Stated another way, we define what our goals are, and then we plan how to achieve those goals. Normally, we decide where we want to travel before we decide if we want to take a car, a plane, a train, or simply walk. It is a simple, logical flow. Implementing an ITFM process is simply an aspect of an enterprise s life. It should follow the same logic what before how. The single most important factor in having a successful ITFM implementation is having a thorough understanding of what needs to be implemented before deciding on how to implement it.

Figure 1 depicts the range of stages of an ITFM maturity model. It is important to understand that a company must fit its goals to the appropriate level of maturity. In other words, a stage 3 level Manage Cost may be desired over a Stage 4 level Competitive Advantage since the incremental efforts and cost to achieve stage 4 may not, for a specific organization, justify the benefits achieved in order to achieve this stage.

Let s briefly mention some of the considerations that need to go into determining the what :

Senior leadership must lead an ITFM project. There must be a good understanding of who is sponsoring the project IT, the business units, finance. ITFM maturity is a top-down initiative.

What are the current ITFM-related processes? Mapping existing processes will help determine gaps and areas for improvement.

How readily available are current cost and usage drivers?

How are business and IT performance currently being measured?

Who will be the winners and the losers with a change of ITFM processes? Can the losers also be turned into winners?

The answer to these questions will differ by enterprise. That means the what will be different for each enterprise.

We started this discussion by asking why so many IT financial management projects fail to meet expectations. One primary reason is the lack of a full understanding of the difference between what process or processes are being implemented versus how a change in process will be implemented.

We have begun the presentation of a course of action and related framework and if followed, the chance of meeting expectations and realizing the business benefits of ITFM will be greatly enhanced.

In Part 2 of this series of articles, we will describe how you determine the what, which is a rather extensive subject in itself. In Part 3 we will describe the how. Similar to uncovering the what, deciding the how is a detailed process.

Mike Stiglianese is a managing partner of TMO Partners . where he advises Fortune 500 companies on management of their strategic technology, financial, risk, and shared services initiatives. He is a chief IT risk and financial executive with extensive experience in leading financial and risk management solutions for global organizations. His career includes 25 years in Citigroup s financial control function, where he held a leadership role in identifying, developing and implementing global, cross-business expense reduction efforts and was recognized as a key contributor to capturing $3 billion in savings at Citigroup.

Lawrence Maisel is president of DecisionVu Group Inc. . a management consultancy specializing in corporate performance management, financial management and IT value management. He has successfully demonstrated abilities to provide leadership in strategy and financial management, and information technology with numerous experiences in financial services, insurance, communications and media, and pharmaceuticals industries. He has developed business strategies, managed and improved business performance, implemented business systems, and designed solutions to increase operating performance and shareholder value. Recently, he co-authored (with Gary Cokins)Predictive Business Analytics Forward-looking Capabilities to Improve Business Performance(2014, John Wiley Sons), and authored IFAC s International Good Practices Guidance on Predictive Business Analytics.





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E-Business (e Business) – Definitions and Ways to Create it Better #small #business #financing

#e business

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e-Business

There are many definitions of e-business, for example we can defines e-business as any net business activity that transforms internal and external relationships to create value and exploit market opportunities driven by new rules of the connected economy. actually the word e means electronic so it means business via electronic channels as website, social networks and emails. Therefore e-commerce is result of e business.

e-Business Definition

First of all, look at the word e-business, it includes from two words 1- e 2- business so we can define it electronic business however, it is more than an absolute state of a company and it targets the market opportunities of conducting business under new electronic channels. which revolve around the Internet.

e-business communications in markets

e Business Range

This is an acknowledgement that e business comes in many forms and can be implemented to a very small or a large degree. It is also an acknowledgement that the Internet is an essential component of an e-business strategy. Laudon and Laudon s (2002) definition of e-business, as the use of the Internet and other digital technology for organizational communication, coordination and the management of the firm, encompasses these different adaptations. In the broadest possible terms, however, e-business is an electronic way of doing business. The fact that the value proposition of e-business includes the creation of new market opportunities through electronic channels, should not be ignored as these electronically channeled market opportunities enable companies to lower transaction costs, reduce delivery times, improve customer services, and add convenience.

This site is concerned with the implementation of e-business in the construction industry. In this context, e-business is defined broadly as the conduct of construction business by electronic means.

This fits with broad definitions of the term e-commerce exemplified by the definitions below:

  • The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD): The electronic exchange of information that support and govern commercial activities including organizational management, commercial management, commercial negotiations and contracts, legal and regulatory frameworks, financial settlement arrangements and taxation (OECD,1999).
  • Learnthat. e-Commerce is not just about buying and selling online, but also includes all forms of business activities that are conducted over the Internet (e.g. the business-to-business flow of information between companies or within a company, communication between businesses, online advertising, etc.).
  • Kalakota and Whinston: e-Commerce at its grass root level can be described as an electronic method of doing business, typically over the Internet. Broadly defined, however, eCommerce is a modern business methodology that addresses the needs of organizations, merchants and consumers to cut costs while improving the quality of goods and services, and increasing the speed of service delivery .

Thus, the term, e-business, as used in this site should not be considered synonymous with narrow definitions of e-commerce as the process of buying and selling goods and services online.

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Business Solutions – Growth Strategies For The IT Channel #buy #a #business

#business solutions

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Bringing together hardware, software, and subject-matter expertise allows these two companies to win big in the manufacturing vertical.

Simplifying the critical restaurant application landscape on a single software platform is driving big gains for a new ISV.

At the time of this writing, I m fresh off of RSPA RetailNOW 2016. Coming back from an event like RetailNOW, my mind and notebook are overloaded with takeaways from the various education sessions, keynote speakers, and interactions with resellers and vendors. Indeed, over the four-plus days I was in Texas, I have more than 30 pages of notes.

  • EMV Integration Addresses Legacy POS
  • Tips From A Security Assessment Startup Turned Thriving Integrator
  • Address The Needs Of Small Restaurants

More From The Current Issue

PRODUCT REVIEWS

We compare 11 business continuity solutions. Which is right for you and your customers?

  • Product Comparison: Endpoint Security Solutions 2016
  • Product Comparison: RMM Software 2016
  • Product Comparison: Backup & Recovery Software, Part 2

More Product Reviews

PREMIUM CONTENT

When you hear about a security breach, you probably think something like, The IT department must have missed something. But increasingly, breaches are caused by factors outside of IT s control. Today, a breach is just as likely to be the result of a devious email or an unwitting employee s error as a breakdown in IT.

As the world moves to browser-based applications (whether hosted on your own server or with a provider such as Amazon), it can mean that some of your applications might be on a local server in your office and others are hosted somewhere else. For example, you may have a hosted CRM ( Customer Relationship Management ) system, while your accounting or ERP software application stays behind closed doors where it is more difficult for a hacker to gain access.

Once a VAR or ISV makes a decision to pursue monthly recurring revenue opportunities in payment processing, the big question becomes how? Two Moneris subject matter experts offer guidance on the big decisions that must first be considered.

The once sluggish area of payments has quickly become anything but in the past few years. In fact, payments have become one of the most dynamic aspects of retailing. Retailers have often incorporated payment changes only as necessary. However, with continuous changes in industry requirements, consumer expectations and consumer access to new payment methods, retailers have had to adjust to become more nimble and flexible.

NAB Velocity, based in Denver CO, provides software developers and businesses with secure and customizable payment solutions, including credit and debit card processing, ACH processing, and gift/loyalty card programs from an ecosystem of payment service providers. As a division of North American Bancard Holdings, LLC (NAB), an industry partner with over 20 years of experience and knowledge servicing merchants, enabling agents, and supporting partners, NAB Velocity is the omnichannel platform to an integrated system of payment and merchant services.

The transition to managed services from a break-fix business model can be challenging for MSPs. There is much to consider in terms of setting expectations, documenting the deliverables, and defining how the MSP s relationships with its clients will be governed under this new model.

eMarketer predicts 37.5 million Americans will use proximity mobile payments this year a 61.8 percent increase over 2015 and total value of mobile payment transactions in the U.S. alone will grow 210 percent in the same period.

An IT solution provider discusses a major data center growth trend that every channel IT company should be taking advantage of right now.

SPECIAL REPORTS

If you want to know more about EMV and how to maximize your payments-related revenue, this guide is for you. After surveying both small and large retailers on their top technology needs (and where they plan to spend), surveying our own readers, and studying analysts data on the market, we came up with a list of the four most important topics of today and the near future: payment processing (special focus on security/EMV and mobility), mobile POS, POS-as-a-Service, and customer experience/ engagement.

Many IT solutions providers, both VARs and software developers, rank dealing with payment security slightly higher than a trip to the dentist. It s not something people want to spend time on. To most, payment security is not a money-making profit center. Additionally, the rules seem to be ever-changing and nearly impossible to get ahead of. To top it off, the bad guys always seem to be one step ahead.

Are your vendor partners merely providers of product for you to sell, or true partners that are walking with you hand-in-hand and working to help you succeed? If you didn t answer true partners, it might be time to reevaluate the relationship.

Here are 2016 s Best Channel Vendors, listed first by technology category (Business Continuity through VoIP) and then by technology subcategory. One of the main purposes of this special report is to give our resellers a guide to who their peers think are Best Channel Vendors.

2016 is just a few holiday parties away and will be here before we know it. This month prior is a good opportunity to take a step back and reflect on the past year. What has your company done well? Are there wins you should be celebrating? What will your company look like in the years to come? What have you struggled with? Are you taking steps to ensure that those same struggles don t occur in 2016?

Healthcare IT continues to evolve and change, and IT solutions providers in this vertical need to address the challenges their clients face as they try to keep up with standards, regulations, and trends.

FEATURED SUPPLIERS

At MAXfocus we provide over 12,000 MSPs and IT support companies globally with the integrated Remote Monitoring, Mail Security, Backup and ServiceDesk capability you need to make your clients lives easier. We also provide free training, sales and marketing materials to help build your business.

For more than 30 years, APG Cash Drawer has been designing and delivering cash drawers with a variety of size, color, interface, and integration options. An APG cash drawer will provide years of smooth, trouble free service with virtually no downtime, no service required, and no headaches. Our cash drawers are so well constructed and so reliable that our customers install them and forget them – even in the most demanding environments.

We ve spent more than 40 years helping lead the electronic payment revolution, and we remain at the industry s forefront. Providing merchants and partners with seamless, secure solutions and the latest industry intelligence, Moneris helps the businesses we serve unlock new possibilities and take advantage of new avenues for growth.

ConnectWise is the leading business management solution designed exclusively for technology organizations, such as IT solution providers, MSPs, software companies, hardware/software resellers, and System Integrators.

Harbortouch is a leading national provider of touch-screen point of sale (POS) systems and payment processing services. As pioneers of the as a service model, Harbortouch offers an unprecedented free POS program that allows the company s sales partners to offer a full-featured POS system with no up-front costs.

RSPA stands for Retail Solutions Providers Association. We are the only association dedicated to the retail technology industry.





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How Hard Is It to Be a Small Business Owner? Small Business Blog #stockmarket

#small business owner

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How Hard Is It to Be a Small Business Owner?

There are a lot of misconceptions about being a small business owner. Like…

People often think that being a small business owner is easy because you get to be your own boss and set your own hours.

The Reality : Most small business owners work harder than they used to work when they had a corporate job.

People think that being a small business owner is glamorous – you get to make big decisions, make big money, and have a carefree lifestyle.

The Reality . Most small business owners have to wear many hats – sometimes getting to be a strategic visionary, but other times having to serve as a front-line customer service person, amateur psychologist, or office janitor.

But one of the biggest misconceptions about being a small business owner is that it’s too “hard.” I recently read an article on the Naked Capitalism blog entitled Tech Titans Promoting Basic Income Guarantee as a Way to Shrink Government, Kill Social Programs , which suggested that being an entrepreneur is a raw deal for most people:

But who wants to be an entrepreneur? Seriously. If you can hold a job with any stability and you don’t mind the work and get on with your boss and co-workers, it’s a vastly better deal than running your own show…being in business for yourself is almost a roll-back for the whole rationale of advanced economies: that of specialization. In a larger organization, the really good sales guy can mainly do sales, plus the unavoidable internal politics and bureaucratic tasks. The accountant can mainly do accounting, and so on.

By contrast, starting a business requires lots of skills, including selling, negotiating, having common sense about priorities, being able to size up potential backers and employees, being able to budget and manage funds. It’s a drag if you are really good at one particular thing to have to do all that other stuff, even if you are capable of it.

The payoff curve for entrepreneurship looks a lot like that of lines of employment that most parents would tell their kids to avoid: acting, playing sports, writing novels. Remember, 90% of all new businesses fail within three years. And like J.K. Rowling, A-list Hollywood stars, and football pros, the lure of the huge payoffs at the top end masks the steep falloff after that.

First of all, it’s not true that “90% of all new businesses fail within three years” – according to statistics from the Small Business Administration. about half of small businesses survive for five years or more, and one-third survive for 10 years or more. That’s a lot longer than I’ve lasted at any corporate job.

This article also makes it sound like entrepreneurship only offers rewards to the people at the top – as if most small business owners are a bunch of low-paid losers who would be better off trying to make it as actors in Hollywood. But even if we’re not going to be the next Bill Gates, most small business owners make a decent living – according to an American Express OPEN survey on the average entrepreneur’s salary. as of 2013, small business owners paid themselves an average annual salary of $68,000 – which is significantly more than the 2013 U.S. median household income of $52,250.

But more broadly, I disagree with the premise of the argument that it’s “too hard” to be a small business owner because you don’t get to specialize in what you do best.

It’s true that when you work for a big company, there are certain “economies of scale” that enable the big company to do things faster, cheaper, and perhaps better than a smaller company could. This is a basic principle of economics. However, for small business owners today, in the age of the Internet, there are so many great online small business tools and resources that can help you be more productive! You don’t have to be a big company to get big results in 2015 – you can use business-grade tools and resources to outsource, automate, and delegate various business tasks and daily operations, whether it’s basic back-office functions like simple accounting, invoicing, or payment processing, or more advanced skills like marketing, building customer relationships, and business inventory management .

As a small business owner today, you’re in business “for” yourself, but not “by” yourself. You can get help with almost any business topic imaginable online. You can connect with other entrepreneurs on LinkedIn for advice and ideas. You can get free business mentoring from SCORE, the Small Business Administration’s mentoring program. Even if you’re a solo entrepreneur or small business owner with only a few employees, there are many ways to make your business seem “bigger” without the bigger costs.

It’s simplistic (and wrong) to think that it’s too hard to be an entrepreneur, so no one should want to do it. I think it s actually the opposite – while it s never easy to run your own business – there are always financial risks and stresses, and lots of hard work – the Internet is making it easier than ever before to run a business. Not everyone has the right combination of ambition, hustle, vision, and sheer willpower that makes for a successful small business owner – but if you do, the rewards (and the daily sense of freedom) make it all worthwhile.

Ideally, as a small business owner, you should get to specialize more than ever before in doing what you do best every day. Use some of these cheap (or free) online business tools and mobile apps to outsource or automate the daily tasks that you don t like to do or aren t as good at. Being an entrepreneur helps you unleash your productive, creative potential like nothing else!





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How much does it Cost to Start a Professional Photography Business? #business #consulting

#photography business

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How much does it Cost to Start a Professional Photography Business?

Photography has become one of the in trends right now. Every special event in a person s life needs a photographer to capture and make the moments truly unforgettable.

So, do you want to go pro? Here are the estimated costs when you are starting your photography business:

Get a pro photography gear.

Of course, the most important thing to consider in your financial plan would be the cost of the camera and the accompanying accessories.

As a professional, you need to have at least two professional cameras. Camera glitch can sometimes happen and you don t want to add to the stress of your client when your camera malfunctions on that very event.

Your budget and gear will depend on what field of photography business you would want.

Buy the camera body but not the kit. You can replace the kit with cheaper versions .

If you are a wedding photographer, consider buying 2 Nikon D750 cameras for $2,000.00 each (total cost =$4,000.00)

If you are a portrait photographer, consider buying 2 Nikon D7100 cameras for $1,200.00 each (total cost= $2,400.00)

These recommended lenses will work fine on both cameras and less expensive version than the kit that comes with the cameras above:

Nikon 35mm f/2.0= $350.00

Nikon 50mm f/1.8 lens= $299.00

Nikon 85mm f/1.8 lens= $499.00

For wedding photographers, you may consider the Nikon Lens 70-200 f2/8: this will do the magic when the wedding is at night or in a dark enclosed church where there is a limited source of light or you cannot go that close to the couple. The cost is about $2,400.00.

Wedding photographers must have at least 2 flashes Nikon SB-700 (at $329 each) total= $658.00

Other essential accessories: memory cards, reflectors, light stands, flash triggers, camera bags ($500.00 to $ 1500)

Computer and software:

21 iMac Computer= $1299

2 external memory drives=$ 85 each total: $170.00

Lightroom and photo shop=$119 per year

This aspect is the one mostly neglected by newbies in photography business, making their business legal

Yearly accounting service: $300.00

Incorporating the business: $125.00

Photography contracts and attorney fee= $400-$2000

Because of the evolution of technology nowadays, people think that having a photography business is easy as taking a plunge.

Sure you may have an informal business at first but if you want to get paid like a pro, you must take your photography business to a professional level.

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Starting Your Own Photo Booth Rental Business Part 1

How to Manage a Small Photography Business




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How hard is it to start an import #stock #market #news #today

#import export business

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If you wish YOU CAN WIN

So you want to sell to the world? Thanks to the Internet, setting up an import/export business can be ridiculously simple and very profitable.

• Pick a product to import or export.

When it comes to importing and exporting, you cannot be all things to all customers. Decide on something and stick with it.

You have two viable reasons for choosing a product to import or export: you know it will sell or you like it. Hopefully, you can meet both criteria.

• Find the right market.

You’ve selected a product, now you must look for someplace to sell it! Do the homework and research the market beforehand to locate the best potential foreign market for your product or service. Use import export data to check market trends. These resources are helpful for determining where in the world products and services are moving to and from, and why and how to get in on the action.

• Source a supplier. Check here

  • Finalize the relationship and seal the deal

If you are an importer, you must seal the deal before your goods will be shipped to you. If you are an exporter, you must agree with the buyer and provide the goods upon receiving the money.

After signing an agreement with the supplier or manufacturer (as drawn by your attorney ), you will be granted the right to import the goods into your country or export from your country; as one of their designated import / export partners. The manufacturer will pay you the specific commission quoted to the distributors on top of the price of the goods. And you will be given catalogs and samples for your use in distribution.





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What is business acumen and how do you get it? Practically Perfect PA #best

#business acumen

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What is business acumen and how do you get it?

September 9, 2013 December 29, 2015

Over the last few weeks I have been developing a twitter strategy for one of my company s clients. They are an online events business and we are helping them with their marketing so I have been learning about hybrid and online events. I already know how to market via social media, I understand the world of events and I can create content fairly easily but prior to. oh I don t know a few weeks ago I knew very little about hybrid events. I would be able to tell you what a hybrid event was but very little else, now I have online event information seeping out of every pore (it isn t very pleasant!)

The reason I can bring myself up to speed so quickly is because I have spent 10 years working as an assistant and I have become very good at developing business acumen! I also hopped from one industry to another so I had to constantly learn how these business were run, the jargon that was used and the different codes of conduct each industry sector had. I had to understand all of this to support my boss effectively.

I think it is so very important for assistants to have good business acumen because without it I don t see how we can support our managers or move up the career ladder.

So what is business acumen?

I really like this definition of business acumen, it is from the Financial Times Lexicon :

In practice, people with business acumen are thought of as having business sense or business smarts . They are able to obtain essential information about a situation, focus on the key objectives, recognise the relevant options available for a solution, select an appropriate course of action and set in motion an implementation plan to get the job done.

So that sounds easy to achieve right? Erm no, I didn t think so either! Developing business acumen takes time, it has to be achieved through learning and training and ultimately it has to be part of your ongoing development plan. Expanding your business acumen has to be constant.

Having strong business sense isn t easy to develop but it is incredibly important for an assistant to have. We support people that have very strong business acumen, they wouldn t be in the position they are in without it! How can we support them if we do not have an understanding of their business, their strategic objectives and the pressures they face on a daily basis? The difficulty is that a lot of organisations don t understand this need and do not offer assistants the opportunity to attend training courses or take time out of their day to build their business acumen. Many bosses do not see the potential in their assistants or the added bonus of having an assistant with a good knowledge of the business and what that means in terms of the extra support they would receive.

So how do we develop business acumen?

There are of course ways around this problem but it does mean that assistants will have to be particularly proactive in developing their own business acumen. Trust me though it is totally worth the effort!

Firstly, is your manager supportive of your training needs? If so, well done! Ask that you attend training courses on the areas that you could improve, for example business finance or process management. If your manager is supportive then build business acumen improvement into your overall development plan and ensure you have an objective based on the wider business such as working on a cross departmental project.

Does your organisation have a graduate programme? If it does then ask to attend their initial training sessions on the industry. I did this when I first started working in insurance. There was so much jargon and codes of conduct, especially when working with Lloyd s of London that I asked to attend an Introduction to Insurance course which was in-house and specifically for the new graduates. I was the only EA on the course but it was so helpful and didn t cost my company a penny.

Does your manager subscribe to business magazines? If they do, this is great because you open their post and can read the magazines before giving it to them! Don t worry I don t think they will be offended that you are reading their magazine they will probably be in total shock that you are taking an interest! Not only does this help with your business knowledge it also gives you something to talk to your boss about, which is great when you don t have a lot in common.

This brings me to a really important point! Read everything. I love Julie Perrin s blog on business acumen for administrative professionals because it really goes into detail on what assistants should be reading and how to actually create the time to read. This is well worth the read, once you ve finished reading my blog obviously! Reading business material does not cost your company anything and I honestly think it helps enormously.

Do you take minutes at meetings? Again this is another fantastic way to increase your business acumen. In a previous role I managed 12 Committees all of which had a special interest in different areas of accountancy. I attended all of the Committee meetings and took all of the minutes. During the meetings I would really listen to what everyone was saying and take notes on anything I didn t understand so that I could research it later. I would also talk to the members during refreshment breaks and read all of the supporting documents along with their regular newsletters. Oh my goodness, by the end of the 4 years I worked in that role my knowledge of accountancy was extraordinary! I once attended a networking event for one of the Committees and talked to a new member for half an hour before he realised I wasn t actually an accountant (thank God!)

Lastly do you attend meetings with your manager? This task will bring you into contact with the company’s decision makers and you will be privy to their conversations and how they come to make decisions. Ensure you listen to these people. If you know why decisions are made in the company then you can start to make choices about your everyday work following the same strategy as the executive team. This will massively increase your knowledge and keep you focussed on improving your business acumen. When it comes to your review you can demonstrate to your manager that not only do you understand the company’s strategy but you are also implementing it into your own work by thinking strategically. This depth of knowledge will be impressive because they might not think you consider the bigger picture.

Understanding the bigger picture, where your boss fits into it and in turn how you can help support their goals is a fundamental requirement of a great assistant. Developing your business acumen will also give you a fantastic foundation and allow you to move up the career ladder and gain a well deserved promotion.

And the ability for both of you to exchange information easily online
makes your being in-house less of a need. Audit-ready books
also enable a company to make more knowledgeable decisions on a time-sensitive basis.
If you are an employee of such a company, you need
to preserve the company. On the grounds that clerk services are
frequently served on an hourly groundwork, people who work snappier will permit you to
recover more.





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Entry Level Business Analyst, IT Salary #business #plan #outline

#business analyst salary

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Entry-Level Business Analyst, IT Salary

San Francisco offers some of the highest pay in the country for Entry-Level IT Business Analysts, 26 percent above the national average. Entry-Level IT Business Analysts will also find cushy salaries in New York (+19 percent), Los Angeles (+14 percent), Seattle (+10 percent), and Houston (+8 percent). St. Louis is home to the smallest salaries in the field, lagging the national average by 5 percent. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Austin and Atlanta (1 percent less).

Business Analyst, IT Advice

What do you wish you knew about your job when you first started out?

Business Analyst, IT in Durham:

“Be Happy with Ambiguity & Leading from “Behind-the-Scenes””

People leverage a BA to help make things make sense. It’s still a very new role to many companies and firms and parts of it are very meta. Often while you are eliciting, defining, and documenting requirements and processes, you will be simultaneously demonstrating the process for doing so and standardizing it. Developers, Project Managers, Tech Leads, UX & Design and Business stakeholders are not always going to know where in the Venn diagram your contributions end that their’s begin and vice versa. Job postings will often ask to be a project manager, a coder, a designer, a financial analyst, a “savior” of all things project and business related and you will have figure out (much like practicing analysis on the job) “is what they say they want, what they really need?” It’s a rewarding job if you like solving problems, helping others, and serving something larger than yourself, but it’s a “behind-the-scenes” gig so the ability to be happy with your invisible leadership is paramount.





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