Tag: right

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

#business christmas cards

#

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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Find the Right Small Business Phone System – Cisco Systems #business #law

#business phone systems

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Find the Right Small Business Phone System

What to Know When Buying a Small Business Phone System

Small business phone systems are available in a variety of configurations, offering an ever-growing range of features and benefits. Most modern small business phone systems today run on Internet Protocol (IP) networks the same network they use to connect employees, devices, and information resources.

But how do you find the right small business phone system for your company? And what’s the best way to deploy it?

Here are a few key considerations when evaluating and implementing a new small business phone system.

Understand What Your Users Need

The right small business phone system can give your people the tools they need to be more efficient. Does your workforce need easy access to mobile communications or video? Do workers need one phone number that simultaneously rings on multiple devices?

Features and capabilities available include:

  • Mobile softphones, for using a computer as a phone
  • The ability to make and receive calls from smartphones or tablets
  • Video or web conferencing support
  • Automated attendant
  • Paging and intercom

You can also get unified messaging, with notifications by email, text message, or phone. Instant Messaging and Presence technology, other popular features, help you quickly identify the people available within your organization and reach them at any given time.

Reduce Your IT Costs

Today’s small business IP phone systems can consolidate essential communications and collaboration capabilities onto a single server solution. This reduces IT complexity and communications costs.

Be Prepared for Change

A new small business phone system can change the way you and your employees work and conduct daily business transactions. For example, using video, you can meet with remote staff, customers, suppliers and partners to enhance key relationships.

Talk to Your Trusted Advisor.

Consult with your local service provider or reseller to help ensure that your phone system’s features and capabilities will meet your company’s short- and long-term business goals.

The Cisco Business Edition 6000S provides all the essential communication and collaboration capabilities needed for your business. It is designed specifically to meet the needs of small businesses with up to 150 users. Cisco Business Edition 6000S offers an easy to deploy, manage, and use IP telephone system, plus much more.





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Business Loans: Get the Right Financing for Your Business #business #stationary

#small business loans

#

Business Loans up to $300K
at rates starting at 5.9% 1

1 Factor rate is the financing cost divided by the loan amount – but that’s not how traditional interest rates work. For example, if you pay 30 cents for a one-year loan of one dollar, your factor rate is 30% but is equivalent to a 55% interest rate! Factor rates can make short-term loans appear less expensive than a traditional interest rate would.

2 These loans require you to repay a fixed amount of interest, so paying off early won’t save you any money. In fact, it can increase your effective interest rate to 200% or more.

3 Payments calculated based on range of interest rates and repayment terms offered, assuming a loan amount of $10,000.

4 Total Annualized Rate shows all costs for one year in a single equivalent interest rate so that you can make apples-to-apples comparisons.

Lending Club is America’s #1 credit marketplace, transforming banking to make it more efficient, transparent and consumer friendly. We operate fully online with no branch infrastructure and use technology to lower cost and deliver an amazing experience.





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Is a Home Business Right for You? Horizon Job Marketing #small #business #resources

#home business

#

Is a Home Business Right for You?

Every morning as people wake up and make the commute to work, many dream of the day when they will finally work for themselves. Every time the boss lets someone know that they must give up their weekend plans for the good of the company, people contemplate the benefits of being the owner of their own business.

Are you one of these people?

If you are, it is important to ask yourself some very important questions before you make the uncertain leap into self-employment.Many dream of the benefits of home business ownership, but few take into account the sacrifices that must be made to bring the dream to fruition. Please don t make this mistake yourself.

You must approach home business ownership with your eyes wide open. Ask yourself the important questions, and more importantly, answer your own questions openly and honestly.

AN IMPORTANT CONSIDERATION

Are you the type of person who relishes every chance to gather around the water cooler for social interaction? If so, then home business ownership may not be the right decision for you.Instead, if you feel that you can be quite content sitting alone at your desk; speaking only to clients and really minding your own home business, then you might have what it takes to succeed as a home business entrepreneur at IDLife .

If you feel at ease with your own company and don t need a dozen coworkers milling around your desk, then you, too, could savor the freedoms that will allow you and your family, to live the lifestyle you know you want and deserve.

THE KEY TO HOME BUSINESS SUCCESS

Self-motivation is the key to success when you start a home-based business. You need to possess the ability to push yourself ahead. Your drive and determination will be reinforced with every new sale. The level of success that you will achieve greatly depends on the time and effort you are willing to plow into your new home business.

Your organization, planning and marketing skills, will all be put into practice when you embark on your liberating journey from employee, to being your own boss. In fact, you will be the wearer of many hats and gain a wealth of business experience along the way, when you finally make that commitment to work at home.

Finding the appropriate products or services to market should not be over-looked as well. You need to find what you are passionate about or the fun of working for yourself will turn into another job that you hate. Consider IDLife products as a potential outlet for your business or other recurring income opportunities.

YOUR SUCCESS RESTS ENTIRELY UPON YOUR OWN SHOULDERS

You will now be the boss. Are you truly able to work independently? Do you have the drive; the tenacity, to persevere with your home based business? Will you be able to invest the necessary time to nurture it, to watch it grow and see it through, from germination to full, glorious bloom? When you re the boss, you are responsible for the success of your home business, from A to Z, from disappointments to victory.

When you work at home, it will empower you to achieve many things you were unable to do when you were stuck working for that tyrant boss. Remember him? He s the guy that wouldn t let you take time off when your baby was sick the same guy that called you in to work on Thanksgiving Day.

A home business means that you can take good care of your family and make money from home, simultaneously. You will have the best of both worlds! Just think no more dirty laundry piling up you can do it while you work. No more scurrying around at the last minute searching for a babysitter either. And no more worrying about getting fired; you ll be the boss!

Stay positive and focused on your home based business, even if, when sales aren t up to par, you get occasional negative remarks or derogatory comments from people with stuffy, dead-end jobs. Ignore their cutting words and bear in mind that success is the best revenge! Keep your admirable, positive attitude at the forefront and show them what you re made of!

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15 Inspiring Small Business Quotes to Start Your Day Right #business #website #templates

#business quotes

#

INSIGHTS

15 Inspiring Small Business Quotes to Start Your Day Right

Running a small business can be tough and demanding at times. What motivates you to open your doors up to customers each day?

When things get tough, it is always good to remember why you started your business in the first place. So, we put together these 15 great quotes from inspiring leaders, which obviously include small business owners just like you.

To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business, and your business in your heart. Thomas Watson, Sr.

1. I can’t imagine a person becoming a success who doesn’t give this game of life everything he’s got. Walter Cronkite

2. I’m happy as long as I am making other people happy. Dominique Ansel, Dominique Ansel Bakery

3. I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance. Steve Jobs

4. I make a conscious effort to keep things in perspective when I get burned out. It is easy to get stuck in the daily grind, but if you think about all the distance you have covered, and what lies ahead, it is much easier to feel motivated and optimistic. Alex Litoff, Event Farm

5. Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out. Robert Collier

6. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. Aristotle

7. I m a big fan of small business ownership. I think it s the backbone of American innovation. But to be successful, you first have to have the courage to go for it. Bill Rancic

8. Statistics suggest that when customers complain, business owners and managers ought to get excited about it. The complaining customer represents a huge opportunity for more business. Zig Ziglar

9. Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy. Norman Schwarzkopf

10. Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it. Dwight D. Eisenhower

11. The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. Remember, the greatest failure is to not try. Once you find something you love to do, be the best at doing it. Debbie Fields

12. There is no royal, flower-strewn path to success. And if there is, I have not found it. For if I have accomplished anything in life, it is because I have been willing to work hard. C.J. Walker

13. Small business isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s for the brave, the patient and the persistent. It’s for the overcomer. Unknown

14. Behind every small business, there s a story worth knowing. All the corner shops in our towns and cities, the restaurants, cleaners, gyms, hair salons, hardware stores these didn t come out of nowhere. Paul Ryan

15. “We are really competing against ourselves, we have no control over how other people perform.”
– Pete Cashmore, founder and CEO Mashable

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RCM Business – Right Concept Marketing #writing #business #plan

#rcm business

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Courtesy: Indian Express, 18 Nov 2015 PM Modi said that the focus of his government was on providing system-based and policy-driven governance. Highlighting the achievements of his government in tackling the menace of corruption in bureaucracy, Narendra Modi said several steps have been taken to make the bureaucracy more efficient, performance-oriented and accountable. Asserting Continue Reading

Courtesy: The Hans India, 4 December 2015 The model law would be comprehensive and include collective investment schemes, chit funds, direct selling schemes and such other activities which are presently permissible but are defined and regulated in a dispersed manner New Delhi: To curb illegal money pooling schemes, a Parliamentary panel has pitched Continue Reading

Courtesy: DNA India, 27 Nov 2015 The Calcutta High Court on Friday said that it expects the West Bengal government to perform its sovereign duty in facilitating return of money to investors affected by several ponzi schemes as it had done in the case of sufferers in Saradha chitfund scam. Adjourning the hearing of Continue Reading

Courtesy: The New Indian Express, 22 August 2015 CHENNAI: The Securities and Exchange Bureau of India (SEBI) has taken a tough stand against any companies indulging in perpetrating Ponzi schemes, with Chairman U K Sinha saying that the regulator had brought down the hammer on 250 such companies over the last few years. “We Continue Reading

Courtesy: Zee News, 2 August 2015 New Delhi: A proposed bill to check fraudulent multi-level marketing (MLM) or ponzi schemes has been put on hold by the government. The Finance Ministry had started the process to amend Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act, 1978 to check the menace of ponzi schemes which continue Continue Reading

Courtesy: Zee News, 11 August 2015 New Delhi: The government on Tuesday said CBI has registered 72 cases relating toponzi schemes in about 3 years, while the Enforcement Directorate has initiated action in 57 cases under the money laundering law. Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has also registered a total of 72 cases (71 regular Continue Reading

Courtesy: DNA India, 15 June 2015 Ponzi schemes are one of the biggest types of economic frauds targeting unsuspecting investors. As per figures available, Ponzi schemes have led to default of over Rs 80,000 crore, affecting over six crore people. Lack of awareness among investors is a big factor responsible for the widespread prevalence Continue Reading

Courtesy: MoneyLife, 14 Oct 2014 The Bangalore Police are investigating Adooye.com, which was selling a ‘package that promised money for watching online advertisements and enrolling new members, in a classic money circulation scheme. The MLM, which reportedly collected over Rs600 crore has quietly shut shop and left over two lakh registered customers in the lurch Continue Reading

New Delhi: Expecting the government s efforts to expand financial inclusion to help curb the ponzi menace in the country, Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) Chairman U K Sinha has said that agents, lured by 20-30 per cent commissions, have been pushing illicit schemes among gullible investors in the absence of good savings products . Continue Reading





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How to Find the Right Business Partner for Your Startup #business #printing

#business partner

#

How to Find the Right Business Partner for Your Startup

Starting a business is notoriously difficult, and going it alone can make those challenges even harder to overcome. That s why many entrepreneurs choose to launch their company with one or more business partners who can help lighten the load.

Finding good business partners is critical to success, said Sherry Fox, co-founder and chairman of LumiWave. There are many different types of partners, from someone who works with you side by side to build your business, to individuals or companies who contribute in specific areas, such as marketing, engineering, etc. Every person or entity that interacts with your business is a partner in some way and affects your ability to succeed.

I believe there is strength in numbers, added Carlo Ruggiero, co-founder of the U.S. branch of European pizza franchise Kono Pizza. When multiple partners share the same vision, the result is a stronger and more unified team.

But you can t just choose anyone to be your partner; you need to be able to work with that person day in, day out, and both of you must be able to focus on the business s objectives.

Sabrina Parsons, CEO of Palo Alto Software. likened a business partnership to a marriage. Your partner is such an important piece of [your] success, and many times, bad partnerships lead to bad business, she said.

If you need a partner but aren t sure where to start, here s how to find, evaluate and work with a prospective business partner. [See Related Story:Choosing a Business Partner? 4 Qualities to Look For]

Look to your network first

Our expert sources agreed that an entrepreneur s connections are the best candidates for potential business partners.

Reaching out to your professional network can provide a rich list, said Jon Weston, CEO of LumiWave and Fox s business partner. I ve received good information and direction from the diaspora of my [previous] companies. General networks or online community groups are too anonymous to find good feedback.

Referrals from trusted colleagues also can be helpful, Fox added. However, Weston cautioned that you should gauge the person making the referral before considering his or her recommendation.

Evaluating a business partner

Once you ve found someone who could be a great potential business partner, how do you evaluate whether that person is truly the right fit? One of your first considerations should be how your personalities, backgrounds, values and experiences complement each other.

While you want a partner that will work well with your culture and style, you don t want a clone, either you want a partner who can fill in the gaps, Weston said. That is the tension you need to look for.

Similarly, Ruggiero said he and his co-founders, David Ragosa and Greg Kinlaw, needed the right combination of personalities and skills to succeed.

[Our] differences allow us to approach each situation in multiple ways, he told Business News Daily. David and I are the go-getters. Greg provides a great balance he is an expert at taking our crazy ideas and making sure we have the numbers to back them. We are constantly learning from each other and are able to use these exchanges to positively influence our business.

However, getting along well isn t enough to ensure a successful partnership. No matter how well you know your potential partner, you re still running a business and thus need to take the appropriate precautions to ensure that any partnership is a smart decision. Weston noted that thoroughly researching your partner is an important part of this process.

Do your due diligence, Weston said. You can do a lot [by] just Googling. Most people and organizations leave a digital trail. Dive into the legal databases. Ask for references, but also research any clients they have worked with or been associated with, and contact them.

Fox agreed, noting that you should vet a partner carefully with all sources available, such as LinkedIn, company websites and former partners. Parsons also advised formally interviewing a prospective partner to better understand his or her skill set.

Finally, before you sign any legal agreements, you must understand how you and your partner will handle a variety of business situations. This is something to discuss at length during your evaluation phase.

Make very clear [written] agreements that take into consideration what happens when things go well and when things go poorly, Parsons said.

Talk openly and frankly about who you are and what you want, Fox added. Spend significant time exchanging ideas and concepts, [and] understand their. short-term and long-term [goals]. Do you agree on the end game?

Making a partnership work

Think you ve found the perfect business partner? Based on their experiences, our sources offered a few pieces of advice for a fruitful and productive partnership.

Define your respective roles. Clearly defining your roles within the company ensures that each partner s time is spent effectively, Ruggiero said. This will prevent partners from stepping on each other s toes and will ultimately save the company money.

Measure your success. Fox recommended that potential business partners work together on a trial basis to test out how well the partnership might work.Set up some parameters and milestones, and make sure what you thought about the potential partner is reality, she said. From there, conduct frequent reviews to make sure you are still on the same page.

Communication is key. Constant honest and open communication is a must. When problems arise, they need to be solved by both (or all) business partners. Ruggiero reminded entrepreneurs that at some point, each partner will make a mistake, and you cannot be afraid to bring it up. Each partner needs to do what s best for the business, he said, and part of doing this is eliminating any negative emotions to avoid a dispute if someone points out a mistake.

Trust your gut. If something doesn t feel right, it probably isn t. Weston recalled little red flags that popped up in conversations with potential partners.

Some things don t quite mesh or add up in the back of your mind. Trust this, he said. It is easier to walk away and be picky than pick up the pieces later.

Some source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.

Nicole Fallon Taylor

Nicole received her Bachelor s degree in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University. She began freelancing for Business News Daily in 2010 and joined the team as a staff writer three years later. She currently serves as the managing editor. Reach her by email. or follow her on Twitter .

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  • Beating the Odds: 4 Steps to Startup Success





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  • 15 Inspiring Small Business Quotes to Start Your Day Right #simple #business #ideas

    #business quotes

    #

    INSIGHTS

    15 Inspiring Small Business Quotes to Start Your Day Right

    Running a small business can be tough and demanding at times. What motivates you to open your doors up to customers each day?

    When things get tough, it is always good to remember why you started your business in the first place. So, we put together these 15 great quotes from inspiring leaders, which obviously include small business owners just like you.

    To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business, and your business in your heart. Thomas Watson, Sr.

    1. I can’t imagine a person becoming a success who doesn’t give this game of life everything he’s got. Walter Cronkite

    2. I’m happy as long as I am making other people happy. Dominique Ansel, Dominique Ansel Bakery

    3. I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance. Steve Jobs

    4. I make a conscious effort to keep things in perspective when I get burned out. It is easy to get stuck in the daily grind, but if you think about all the distance you have covered, and what lies ahead, it is much easier to feel motivated and optimistic. Alex Litoff, Event Farm

    5. Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out. Robert Collier

    6. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. Aristotle

    7. I m a big fan of small business ownership. I think it s the backbone of American innovation. But to be successful, you first have to have the courage to go for it. Bill Rancic

    8. Statistics suggest that when customers complain, business owners and managers ought to get excited about it. The complaining customer represents a huge opportunity for more business. Zig Ziglar

    9. Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy. Norman Schwarzkopf

    10. Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it. Dwight D. Eisenhower

    11. The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. Remember, the greatest failure is to not try. Once you find something you love to do, be the best at doing it. Debbie Fields

    12. There is no royal, flower-strewn path to success. And if there is, I have not found it. For if I have accomplished anything in life, it is because I have been willing to work hard. C.J. Walker

    13. Small business isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s for the brave, the patient and the persistent. It’s for the overcomer. Unknown

    14. Behind every small business, there s a story worth knowing. All the corner shops in our towns and cities, the restaurants, cleaners, gyms, hair salons, hardware stores these didn t come out of nowhere. Paul Ryan

    15. “We are really competing against ourselves, we have no control over how other people perform.”
    – Pete Cashmore, founder and CEO Mashable

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    RCM Business – Right Concept Marketing #memphis #business #journal

    #rcm business

    #

    Courtesy: Indian Express, 18 Nov 2015 PM Modi said that the focus of his government was on providing system-based and policy-driven governance. Highlighting the achievements of his government in tackling the menace of corruption in bureaucracy, Narendra Modi said several steps have been taken to make the bureaucracy more efficient, performance-oriented and accountable. Asserting Continue Reading

    Courtesy: The Hans India, 4 December 2015 The model law would be comprehensive and include collective investment schemes, chit funds, direct selling schemes and such other activities which are presently permissible but are defined and regulated in a dispersed manner New Delhi: To curb illegal money pooling schemes, a Parliamentary panel has pitched Continue Reading

    Courtesy: DNA India, 27 Nov 2015 The Calcutta High Court on Friday said that it expects the West Bengal government to perform its sovereign duty in facilitating return of money to investors affected by several ponzi schemes as it had done in the case of sufferers in Saradha chitfund scam. Adjourning the hearing of Continue Reading

    Courtesy: The New Indian Express, 22 August 2015 CHENNAI: The Securities and Exchange Bureau of India (SEBI) has taken a tough stand against any companies indulging in perpetrating Ponzi schemes, with Chairman U K Sinha saying that the regulator had brought down the hammer on 250 such companies over the last few years. “We Continue Reading

    Courtesy: Zee News, 2 August 2015 New Delhi: A proposed bill to check fraudulent multi-level marketing (MLM) or ponzi schemes has been put on hold by the government. The Finance Ministry had started the process to amend Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act, 1978 to check the menace of ponzi schemes which continue Continue Reading

    Courtesy: Zee News, 11 August 2015 New Delhi: The government on Tuesday said CBI has registered 72 cases relating toponzi schemes in about 3 years, while the Enforcement Directorate has initiated action in 57 cases under the money laundering law. Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has also registered a total of 72 cases (71 regular Continue Reading

    Courtesy: DNA India, 15 June 2015 Ponzi schemes are one of the biggest types of economic frauds targeting unsuspecting investors. As per figures available, Ponzi schemes have led to default of over Rs 80,000 crore, affecting over six crore people. Lack of awareness among investors is a big factor responsible for the widespread prevalence Continue Reading

    Courtesy: MoneyLife, 14 Oct 2014 The Bangalore Police are investigating Adooye.com, which was selling a ‘package that promised money for watching online advertisements and enrolling new members, in a classic money circulation scheme. The MLM, which reportedly collected over Rs600 crore has quietly shut shop and left over two lakh registered customers in the lurch Continue Reading

    New Delhi: Expecting the government s efforts to expand financial inclusion to help curb the ponzi menace in the country, Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) Chairman U K Sinha has said that agents, lured by 20-30 per cent commissions, have been pushing illicit schemes among gullible investors in the absence of good savings products . Continue Reading





    Tags : , , , , ,

    How to Find the Right Business Partner for Your Startup #sba #financing

    #business partner

    #

    How to Find the Right Business Partner for Your Startup

    Starting a business is notoriously difficult, and going it alone can make those challenges even harder to overcome. That s why many entrepreneurs choose to launch their company with one or more business partners who can help lighten the load.

    Finding good business partners is critical to success, said Sherry Fox, co-founder and chairman of LumiWave. There are many different types of partners, from someone who works with you side by side to build your business, to individuals or companies who contribute in specific areas, such as marketing, engineering, etc. Every person or entity that interacts with your business is a partner in some way and affects your ability to succeed.

    I believe there is strength in numbers, added Carlo Ruggiero, co-founder of the U.S. branch of European pizza franchise Kono Pizza. When multiple partners share the same vision, the result is a stronger and more unified team.

    But you can t just choose anyone to be your partner; you need to be able to work with that person day in, day out, and both of you must be able to focus on the business s objectives.

    Sabrina Parsons, CEO of Palo Alto Software. likened a business partnership to a marriage. Your partner is such an important piece of [your] success, and many times, bad partnerships lead to bad business, she said.

    If you need a partner but aren t sure where to start, here s how to find, evaluate and work with a prospective business partner. [See Related Story:Choosing a Business Partner? 4 Qualities to Look For]

    Look to your network first

    Our expert sources agreed that an entrepreneur s connections are the best candidates for potential business partners.

    Reaching out to your professional network can provide a rich list, said Jon Weston, CEO of LumiWave and Fox s business partner. I ve received good information and direction from the diaspora of my [previous] companies. General networks or online community groups are too anonymous to find good feedback.

    Referrals from trusted colleagues also can be helpful, Fox added. However, Weston cautioned that you should gauge the person making the referral before considering his or her recommendation.

    Evaluating a business partner

    Once you ve found someone who could be a great potential business partner, how do you evaluate whether that person is truly the right fit? One of your first considerations should be how your personalities, backgrounds, values and experiences complement each other.

    While you want a partner that will work well with your culture and style, you don t want a clone, either you want a partner who can fill in the gaps, Weston said. That is the tension you need to look for.

    Similarly, Ruggiero said he and his co-founders, David Ragosa and Greg Kinlaw, needed the right combination of personalities and skills to succeed.

    [Our] differences allow us to approach each situation in multiple ways, he told Business News Daily. David and I are the go-getters. Greg provides a great balance he is an expert at taking our crazy ideas and making sure we have the numbers to back them. We are constantly learning from each other and are able to use these exchanges to positively influence our business.

    However, getting along well isn t enough to ensure a successful partnership. No matter how well you know your potential partner, you re still running a business and thus need to take the appropriate precautions to ensure that any partnership is a smart decision. Weston noted that thoroughly researching your partner is an important part of this process.

    Do your due diligence, Weston said. You can do a lot [by] just Googling. Most people and organizations leave a digital trail. Dive into the legal databases. Ask for references, but also research any clients they have worked with or been associated with, and contact them.

    Fox agreed, noting that you should vet a partner carefully with all sources available, such as LinkedIn, company websites and former partners. Parsons also advised formally interviewing a prospective partner to better understand his or her skill set.

    Finally, before you sign any legal agreements, you must understand how you and your partner will handle a variety of business situations. This is something to discuss at length during your evaluation phase.

    Make very clear [written] agreements that take into consideration what happens when things go well and when things go poorly, Parsons said.

    Talk openly and frankly about who you are and what you want, Fox added. Spend significant time exchanging ideas and concepts, [and] understand their. short-term and long-term [goals]. Do you agree on the end game?

    Making a partnership work

    Think you ve found the perfect business partner? Based on their experiences, our sources offered a few pieces of advice for a fruitful and productive partnership.

    Define your respective roles. Clearly defining your roles within the company ensures that each partner s time is spent effectively, Ruggiero said. This will prevent partners from stepping on each other s toes and will ultimately save the company money.

    Measure your success. Fox recommended that potential business partners work together on a trial basis to test out how well the partnership might work.Set up some parameters and milestones, and make sure what you thought about the potential partner is reality, she said. From there, conduct frequent reviews to make sure you are still on the same page.

    Communication is key. Constant honest and open communication is a must. When problems arise, they need to be solved by both (or all) business partners. Ruggiero reminded entrepreneurs that at some point, each partner will make a mistake, and you cannot be afraid to bring it up. Each partner needs to do what s best for the business, he said, and part of doing this is eliminating any negative emotions to avoid a dispute if someone points out a mistake.

    Trust your gut. If something doesn t feel right, it probably isn t. Weston recalled little red flags that popped up in conversations with potential partners.

    Some things don t quite mesh or add up in the back of your mind. Trust this, he said. It is easier to walk away and be picky than pick up the pieces later.

    Some source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.

    Nicole Fallon Taylor

    Nicole received her Bachelor s degree in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University. She began freelancing for Business News Daily in 2010 and joined the team as a staff writer three years later. She currently serves as the managing editor. Reach her by email. or follow her on Twitter .

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