Tag: Ways

7 Ways For Women to Win and Succeed in Business #small #business #resources

#women in business

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7 Ways For Women to Win and Succeed in Business

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1.You Can’t Do Or Have It. One of the downfall of many business and professional women is the “Superwoman Complex.” Once you hang up the Superwoman cape and the Wonderwoman belt and recognize and accept this fact, your job will get a whole lot easier. Every successful person needs a dedicated support team or at the very least a wing man or woman. You don’t have to do everything yourself! Trust your team to do the work, after all that’s what you hired them to do. If you are an entrepreneur or small business owner, a great way to expand your staff is by engaging college students as interns. They can provide that extra help when you need it. Additionally, don’t rule out family and friends. And do not wait until a project is in jeopardy or you are on the verge of being burned out or a nervous breakdown. Remember that delegating empowers others and allows you to focus on the future as well as the big pictures.

2. Positive, Positive, Positive. A negative attitude will never yield positive results. Having a positive attitude helps you to succeed. Surround yourself with positive people who will encourage, inspire, support and motivate you. They will carry you through the tough days and cheer you on when you feel like giving up.

3. Add Humor To Your Work Research shows that laughter affects health, creativity, relationships and the quality of life. Poke fun at yourself, not at others. When your day gets too high-stress, lighten up! Lightening up the workplace reduces conflicts and stress and builds teamwork and productivity. Not to mention it’s great for morale. Converting your staff and customers from unhappy to happy is good for business.

4. Keep Up With Current Events And News. Staying informed about what is happening in the world and in your local community is critical to your personal and professional development. No matter what business you are in, current events have an impact on your industry and your clients. Do not be caught off guard because you haven’t taken ten minutes to read the morning paper. Daily papers are good sources of industry and corporate news, as well as contacts.

5. Be Generous To Your Community, Your Staff, And Yourself
Reward yourself and your employees for hard work and success. Take time to give back to your community through volunteer work and charitable contributions. Let this quote by Winston Churchill you — “you make a living by what you do, but you make a life by what you give. Keep a brave heart and a beautiful spirit.

6 Become A Life-Long-Learner Learning and growing both personally and professionally is a lifelong process that drives our creativity, intelligence and ambition. Make it a priority to take courses and adopt new techniques that help you and your staff think out of the box. Innovation and reinvention are the order of the day. Set aside time for brainstorming and idea sharing. Most important, don’t be afraid to try new things and introduce yourself to new people. When you forego investments in yourself and your staff, you run the risk of allowing complacency to take root. How many times have you found yourself staring at the messy piles of paper in your office? Make sure to invest in an organizer to help clean your space. You will find this will lead to greater efficiency. Check out Napo.net (National Association of Professional Organizers). They offer a list of certified and reputable organizers like Hub Neat Organizer and Charles River Organizers both of whom are in my hometown. I am using them to help me better organize my office and my home.

7. Stop And Smell The Roses Take a minute for yourself every day. Get some exercise, read a good book, take a hot bath or socialize with friends and family. Your work is important, but it is not everything in life. Appreciate all that life has to offer, and your energy will radiate at work, at home and through everything you do.

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The 10 Most Reliable Ways to Fund a Startup #ethics #in #business

#start up business grants

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The 10 Most Reliable Ways to Fund a Startup

One of the most frequent questions I get as a mentor to entrepreneurs is How do I find the money to start my business? I always answer that there isn t any magic, and contrary to popular myth, nobody is waiting in the wings to throw money at you just because you have a new and exciting business idea.

On the other hand, there are many additional creative options available for starting a business that you might not find when buying a car, home or other major consumer item. If you have the urge to be an entrepreneur, I encourage you to think seriously about each of these, before you zero in on one or two, and get totally discouraged if those don t work for you.

Of course, every alternative has advantages and disadvantages, so any given one may not be available or attractive to you. For example, professional investors put great priority on your previous experience in building a business, and they expect to own a portion of the business equity and control for the funds they do provide. These are tough for a first-time entrepreneur.

Thus it is always a question of what you qualify for, and what you are willing to give up, to turn your dream idea into a viable business. Here is my list of the 10 most common sources of funding today, in reverse priority sequence, with some rules of thumb to channel your focus:

10. Seek a bank loan or credit-card line of credit.

In general, this won t happen for a new startup unless you have a good credit history or existing assets that you are willing to put at risk for collateral. In the U.S. you may find that the Small Business Administration (SBA) can get you infusions of cash without normal backup requirements.

9. Trade equity or services for startup help.

This is most often called bartering your skills or something you have for something you need. An example would be negotiating free office space by agreeing to support the computer systems for all the other office tenants. Another common example is exchanging equity for legal and accounting support.

8. Negotiate an advance from a strategic partner or customer.

Find a major customer, or a complimentary business, who sees such value in your idea that they are willing to give you an advance on royalty payments to complete your development. Variations on this theme include early licensing or white-labeling agreements.

7. Join a startup incubator or accelerator.

These organizations, such as Y Combinator. are very popular these days, and are often associated with major universities, community development organizations, or even large companies. Most provide free resources to startups, including office facilities and consulting, but many provide seed funding as well.

6. Solicit venture-capital investors.

These are professional investors, such as Accel Partners. who invest institutional money in qualified startups, usually with a proven business model, ready to scale. They typically look for big opportunities, needing a couple of million dollars or more, with a proven team. Look for a warm introduction to make this work.

5. Apply to local angel-investor groups.

Most metropolitan areas have groups of local high-net-worth individuals interested in supporting startups, and willing to syndicate amounts up to a million dollars for qualified startups. Use online platforms such as Gust to find them, and local networking to find ones that relate to your industry and passion.

4. Start a crowdfunding campaign online.

This newest source of funding, where anyone can participate per the JOBS Act. is exemplified by online sites such as Kickstarter. Here people make online pledges to your startup during a campaign, to pre-buy the product for later delivery, give donations or qualify for a reward, such as a T-shirt.

3. Request a small-business grant.

These are government funds allocated to support new technologies and important causes, such as education, medicine and social needs. A good place to start looking is Grants.gov. which is a searchable directory of more than 1,000 federal grant programs. The process is long, but it doesn t cost you any equity.

2. Pitch your needs to friends and family.

As a general rule, professional investors will expect that you have already have commitments from this source to show your credibility. If your friends and family don t believe in you, don t expect outsiders to jump in. This is the primary source of non-personal funds for very early-stage startups.

1. Fund your startup yourself.

These days, the costs to start a business are at an all-time low, and over 90 percent of startups are self funded (also called bootstrapping). It may take a bit longer to save some money before you start and grow organically, but the advantage is that you don t have to give up any equity or control. Your business is yours alone.

You can see that all of these options require work and commitment on your part, so there is no magic or free money. Every funding decision is a complex tradeoff between near-term and longer-term costs and paybacks, as well as overall ownership and control.

With the many options available, there is no excuse for not living your dream, rather than dreaming about living.





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New Ways to Invest in Small Businesses #canadian #business

#small business investment

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New Ways to Invest in Small Businesses

When nonprofessional investors are able to put money into small businesses, everyone can benefit.

I met with Paul on Tuesday. He is the CFO of a business start-up. He s not sure if the next phase of his company s financing is going to go through. Although he believes in the business model and the mission of the company, some days he thinks he won t have a job in three weeks.

I met with David on Wednesday. While he s a great saver and earns a decent buck, he isn t wealthy. He wants to invest in small companies so much that we ve set up a fun money account, which is 10% of his otherwise well-diversified, passively managed portfolio. Fun money is specifically set aside so that he can make individual investments he believes in.

Because of the way small business investing is structured in this country, the likelihood of Paul and David connecting has been infinitesimally small.

This drives me mad.

It s not just these two who are missing out. Because small companies drive job and economic growth, the economy of the country loses when Paul and David don t connect. And because the current system of funding is biased, some small businesses are a lot less likely to get funding despite their worthy ideas.

Recent developments could change all this.

To raise their initial start up money, small business owners typically first use their savings, and then appeal to their friends and family. Next, they go to banks. If they get big enough and have certain ambitions and contacts, they can get venture capital funding or private equity funding, which is what Paul was waiting on.

These sources of capital are all enhanced if you are affluent and well connected. Do your friends and family have extra money to invest in your business? Do you know anyone you can talk to at a bank? What about impressing people in the venture capital world? A lot of people with good ideas are shut out.

Enter the Internet. Raising money got a lot easier.

The Power of Reward Sites

With reward sites, startups with good ideas raise money in exchange for rewards.

Sesame, which opens doors remotely from smartphones, raised over $1.4 million on Kickstarter.com. The reward here was a chance to order the device.

Then there is Lammily. Barbie s realistically proportioned cousin, whose designer raised almost $500,000 through Tilt.com. The reward for funding Lammily was the chance to pre-order the doll, and sticker packs with stretch marks, cellulite, freckles, and boo-boos.

The reward sites show that companies can raise large amounts of money through small contributions from a large number of people. Research suggests that Kickstarter.com reduces company funding gender bias by an order of magnitude and reduces geographic bias as well. Reward sites cater to consumers who love new products and want to support new ideas.

You may get first dibs on a cool new doll, but sending money to a reward site isn t investing.

The Risks of Private Equity

Traditionally, to get private equity funding, you have to sell to accredited investors the richest 1% of the population, roughly speaking.

Accredited investor regulations were set up in in the wake of the 1929 crash, when a lot of people got ripped off because they invested in dubious enterprises. The idea was that people with a high level of wealth are sophisticated enough to understand investment risk. Unfortunately, this leaves the Davids of the world investors who are sophisticated but wealthy shut out of these types of investments.

Private equity placements are not always a great deal. When I ve looked into them for clients, I ve concluded they are expensive, risky, and difficult to get out of, even if you die. The middlemen who offer these and the advisers who sell these seem to be the ones most likely to make money. The best deals I ve looked at weren t hawked by sales people or investment advisers, but came through clients friends and family.

The rise of Internet portals set up to connect small companies with accredited investors has the potential to cut down on intermediary costs. Still, the sector remains small.

In 2012, President Obama signed the JOBS act, which directed the Securities and Exchange Commission to devise rules opening up small business investing to non-accredited investors.

Some organizations didn t wait for the SEC to issue the rules. Instead, they dusted off exemptions in the securities legislation that most of us have ignored for 80 years.

States Get Into the Act

Some states have picked up on crowdfunding to boost their economies. Terms vary, but generally investors are subject to investment limits and companies are subject to a cap on raising money. Each individual, for example, might be limited to investing $10,000; each company might be limited to raising $1 million. Both investor and company are generally required to reside in the state.

This is music to ears of people who want to invest locally. The first successful offering using this type of exemption was in Georgia in 2013, where Bohemian Guitars raised approximately $130,000 through SparkMarket.com.

Village Power is another example of raising money using an exemption. This intermediary helps organizations set up and fund solar power projects. Village Power coaches their community partners to use an exemption in the SEC rules, which allows for up to 35 local, non-accredited investors.

New Rules Open Doors

New rules issued March 25 by the SEC removed a lot of the barriers for companies raising money and for non-accredited investors.

Companies will be able to raise up to $50 million. Non-accredited investors are welcome to invest, sometimes with limits 10% of their net worth, say, or 10% of their net income.

Although Kickstarter has said that it won t sell securities, other fundraising portals, such as Indiegogo. are looking into it.

And if all goes well, Paul, David, and I can start looking for the new opportunities in June of 2015.

Bridget Sullivan Mermel helps clients throughout the country with her comprehensive fee-only financial planning firm based in Chicago. She s the author of the upcoming book More Money, More Meaning. Both a certified public accountant and a certified financial planner, she specializes in helping clients lower their tax burden with tax-smart investing.

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4 Ways To Predict Market Performance #business #name #ideas

#stock market results

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4 Ways To Predict Market Performance

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There are two prices that are critical for any investor to know: the current price of the investment he or she owns, or plans to own, and its future selling price. Despite this, investors are constantly reviewing past pricing history and using it to influence their future investment decisions. Some investors won’t buy a stock or index that has risen too sharply, because they assume that it’s due for a correction, while other investors avoid a falling stock, because they fear that it will continue to deteriorate.

Does academic evidence support these types of predictions, based on recent pricing? In this article, we’ll look at four different views of the market and learn more about the associated academic research that supports each view. The conclusions will help you better understand how the market functions, and perhaps eliminate some of your own biases.

Momentum
“Don’t fight the tape.” This widely quoted piece of stock market wisdom warns investors not to get in the way of market trends. The assumption is that the best bet about market movements is that they will continue in the same direction. This concept has is roots in behavioral finance. With so many stocks to choose from, why would investors keep their money in a stock that’s falling, as opposed to one that’s climbing? It’s classic fear and greed. (For more insight, see the Behavioral Finance tutorial.)

Studies have found that mutual fund inflows are positively correlated with market returns. Momentum plays a part in the decision to invest and when more people invest, the market goes up, encouraging even more people to buy. It’s a positive feedback loop.

A 1993 study by Narasimhan Jagadeesh and Sheridan Titman, “Returns to Buying Winners and Selling Losers,” suggests that individual stocks have momentum. They found that stocks that have performed well during the past few months, are more likely to continue their outperformance next month. The inverse also applies; stocks that have performed poorly, are more likely to continue their poor performance.

However, this study only looked ahead a single month. Over longer periods, the momentum effect appears to reverse. According to a 1985 study by Werner DeBondt and Richard Thaler, “Does the Stock Market Overreact?” stocks that have performed well in the past three to five years are more likely to underperform the market in the next three to five years and vice versa. This suggests that something else is going on: mean reversion .

Mean Reversion
Experienced investors who have seen many market ups and downs, often take the view that the market will even out, over time. Historically high market prices often discourage these investors from investing, while historically low prices may represent an opportunity.

The tendency of a variable, such as a stock price, to converge on an average value over time is called mean reversion. The phenomenon has been found in several economic indicators. including exchange rates. gross domestic product (GDP) growth, interest rates and unemployment. Mean reversion may also be responsible for business cycles. (For more insight, check out Economic Indicators To Know and Economic Indicators For The Do-It-Yoursel Investor .)

The research is still inconclusive about whether stock prices revert to the mean. Some studies show mean reversion in some data sets over some periods, but many others do not. For example, in 2000, Ronald Balvers, Yangru Wu and Erik Gilliland found some evidence of mean reversion over long investment horizons. in the relative stock index prices of 18 countries, which they described in the “Journal of Finance.”

However, even they weren’t completely convinced, as they wrote in their study, “A serious obstacle in detecting mean reversion is the absence of reliable long-term series, especially because mean-reversion, if it exists, is thought to be slow and can only be picked up over long horizons.”

Given that academia has access to at least 80 years of stock market research. this suggests that if the market does have a tendency to mean revert, it is a phenomenon that happens slowly and almost imperceptibly, over many years or even decades.

Martingales
Another possibility is that past returns just don’t matter. In 1965, Paul Samuelson studied market returns and found that past pricing trends had no effect on future prices and reasoned that in an efficient market. there should be no such effect. His conclusion was that market prices are martingales. (To read more, see Working Through The Efficient Market Hypothesis .)

A martingale is a mathematical series in which the best prediction for the next number is the current number. The concept is used in probability theory, to estimate the results of random motion. For example, suppose that you have $50 and bet it all on a coin toss. How much money will you have after the toss? You may have $100 or you may have $0 after the toss, but statistically the best prediction is $50; your original starting position. The prediction of your fortunes after the toss is a martingale. (To learn how this applies to trading, see Forex Trading The Martingale Way .)

In stock option pricing, stock market returns could be assumed to be martingales. According to this theory, the valuation of the option does not depend on the past pricing trend, or on any estimate of future price trends. The current price and the estimated volatility are the only stock-specific inputs.

A martingale in which the next number is more likely to be higher, is known as a sub-martingale. In popular literature, this motion is known as a random walk with upward drift. This description is consistent with the more than 80 years of stock market pricing history. Despite many short-term reversals. the overall trend has been consistently higher. (To learn more about random walk, read Financial Concepts: Random Walk .)

If stock returns are essentially random, the best prediction for tomorrow’s market price is simply today’s price, plus a very small increase. Rather than focusing on past trends and looking for possible momentum or mean reversion, investors should instead concentrate on managing the risk inherent in their volatile investments.

The Search for Value
Value investors purchase stock cheaply and expect to be rewarded later. Their hope is that an inefficient market has underpriced the stock, but that the price will adjust over time. The question is does this happen and why would an inefficient market make this adjustment?

Research suggests that this mispricing and readjustment consistently happens, although it presents very little evidence for why it happens.

In 1964, Gene Fama and Ken French studied decades of stock market history and developed the three-factor model to explain stock market prices. The most significant factor in explaining future price returns was valuation, as measured by the price-to-book ratio. Stocks with low price-to-book ratios delivered significantly better returns than other stocks. (To read more about this ratio, see Value By The Book .)

Valuation ratios tend to move in the same direction and in 1977, Sanjoy Basu found similar results for stocks with low price-earnings (P/E) ratios. Since then, the same effect has been found in many other studies across dozens of markets. (For more on this, check out Understanding The P/E Ratio .)

However, studies have not explained why the market is consistently mispricing these “value” stocks and then adjusting later. The only conclusion that could be drawn is that these stocks have extra risk, for which investors demand additional compensation. (To learn more about this phenomenon, read The Equity-Risk Premium: More Risk For Higher Returns and Calculating The Equity Risk Premium .)

Price is the driver of the valuation ratios, therefore, the findings do support the idea of a mean-reverting stock market. As prices climb, the valuation ratios get higher and, as a result, future predicted returns are lower. However, the market P/E ratio has fluctuated widely over time and has never been a consistent buy or sell signal .

The Bottom Line
Even after decades of study by the brightest minds in finance, there are no solid answers. The only conclusion that can be drawn is that there may be some momentum effects, in the short term. and a weak mean reversion effect, in the long term.

The current price is a key component of valuation ratios such as P/B and P/E, that have been shown to have some predictive power on the future returns of a stock. However, these ratios should not be viewed as specific buy and sell signals, just factors that have been shown to play a role in increasing or reducing the expected long-term return.





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35 Ways to Fund Your Small Business #start #your #own #business #ideas

#business funding

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35 Great Ways to Fund A Small Business

This article is part of our “Business Startup Guide ” – a curated list of our articles that will get you up and running in no time!

When it comes to funding, there isn t a one-size-fits-all approach. Depending on where you re at in your business, what type of funding you are seeking, and the amount you need, where you ll look can vary widely. We ve compiled a list from a variety of places to help you research and narrow down the options that are best for you.

Loans:

Small Business Administration loans are often one of the first places that small business owners in the United States think of looking for a loan, and they re right to think this way. This can be great option if you fit the criteria. You can take a look at this article for details on the SBA Loan program.

Though there has been plenty in the news lately about the difficulty of receiving a bank loan, this is certainly still an option, particularly for those with substantial collateral and very good credit. We also have some tips on securing a bank loan.

3. Nonprofit microloans

Kiva is a great example of an outline portal for microloans. If you only need a small amount of money, particularly if you are a minority-owned business operating in a developing nation, working with one of Kiva s field partners could be a good route.

U. S. Government Funding Options:

4. Small Business Lending Fund is a dedicated government fund that provides capital for small business loans through specific lenders in each U.S. state.

5. Economic Development Agencies in your area can assist with loans and grants. Each state and some local governments have one.

6. National Institute of Health Funding is going to apply fairly specifically to those who are running technology or research based businesses.

8. Government Small Business Grants are often industry specific, but there is a lot available. The SBA offers a convenient area on their website to conduct research about which may be right for you.

Alternative Lending Sources:

Alternative lenders are institutions that provide loans or lines of credit as an alternative to traditional bank loans or the government. Our VP of Business Development Caroline Cummings created a list of her favorite options for alternative lending last year. Hiveage also outlines some helpful pros and cons of alternative lenders.

9. Kabbage is a place for finding lines of credit.

10. OnDeck awards loans based off of the annual revenue of your business.

11. PayPal will lend based off an existing business s earnings on their site. Entrepreneur reports how this program was expanded just earlier this year.

12. Can Capital awards loans based off of the monthly revenue of your business.

CrowdFunding:

On crowdfunding websites, you create promotional materials and set up a page for your business or project to accept financial backing from those who visit the site. Each site varies a little, so be sure to read the fine print as you decide which is right for you.

15. Fundly has a social bent and is good for nonprofits.

16. RocketHub lets you keep all of the money you raise, even if you don t meet your goal.

17.Kickstarter is currently the world s largest crowdfunding platform.

18. Fundable is more specifically aimed at small businesses.

Venture capital is really only an avenue if you fit the specific criteria. Our latest post on venture capital, 10 Tips for Finding Venture Funding, is a useful read on the subject.

The Funded is a site for those who have received venture capital to share their experiences and ratings with others looking at the same option.

Angel investors can be a great financing option for the right business. You can read Palo Alto Software founder Tim Berry s tips on securing angel investment here. Circle Up and the Angel Capital Association are good resources when looking for angel investment. Gust matches investors up with small businesses seeking funding, and AngelList lets you browse investors.

Bootstrapping:

Bootstrapping: the time-honored tradition of doing basically any and everything you can think of to find money to use in your business.

21 and 22. Friends and family

This is a tried and true method—the people in your life often believe in you and will put their money where their mouth is. Here are some suggestions on navigating fundraising from friends and family.

23. Business line of credit

This is an option for those who need cash quickly and have fairly good credit. Check out this article for more information.

Seriously, if you have a great business idea or maybe you ve perfected your pitch, enter a contest. You never know!

25. Service or product presales

I have a friend who helped pay for massage school by pre-selling massages—she simply offered her massage services for after she would become a LMT (licensed massage therapist), in exchange for a contribution to her tuition. Once she graduated and got her licensure, those who contributed had a pre-paid massage waiting for them, which they could schedule at their convenience.

26 and 27. Using your savings/selling assets

Although this is also known as betting the farm and can certainly be risky, it is an option to use your personal savings and/or sell one of your existing assets and use that money to fund your business.

28. Using other income to fuel your business:

As we ve written about on Bplans previously, many people have a side hustle until they are able to go full time in the direction of their own business. Renting a room in your house using a popular site like air bnb is a great example.

Industry Specific:

Depending on what kind of business you re starting or running, there could be funding from an industry-related fund or organization. Here are two examples:

If you re running a business that provides locally grown and created food-based goods to your area, you could apply to receive funding from Whole Foods.

Some franchises, such as Matco Tools, offer in-house financing to incentivize those looking to start a franchise with their company.

Not in the US?

Caroline Cumming s post here on Bplans offers alternative lending tips for non-U.S. residents.

As previously mentioned, if you re outside of the United States, many microloan programs are aimed toward non-U.S. citizens.

We ve got in depth information here, but Microaid is an organization that can help you get an extremely low-budget micro enterprise off the ground.

34. The UK government has a section of their website dedicated to business finance and support.

35. The Canadian government has a separate website providing information on the Canada Small Business Financing Program and government grants (specific criteria often apply).

Have you successfully funded your business? What method did you use? If you had to do it again, would you? Or would you try a different method?

This article is part of our Business Funding Guide. fund your business today, with Bplans.

How LivePlan makes your business more successful

If you re writing a business plan you’re in luck. Online business planning software makes it easier than ever before to put together a business plan for your business.

As you ll see in a moment LivePlan is more than just business plan software though. It s a knowledgable guide combined with a professional designer coupled with a financial wizard. It ll help you get over the three most common business hurdles with ease.

Let s take a look at those common hurdles and see how producing a top notch business plan sets your business up for success.





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5 Ways To Improve Your Business Language Skills #online #business #classes

#business communication skills

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5 Ways to Improve Your Business Language Skills Quickly

Business language skills are critical needs in this modern era of globalization and cut-throat competition.

An employee that has competency in business language skills is likely to be able to climb up the career ladder with ease. And that applies to businesses as a whole, too: a recent study conducted by Bersin and Associates reveals that organizations that are able to communicate their strategies in a clear and precise manner are 113 times more likely to achieve higher levels of profitability and efficiency.

A similar study conducted by Global English reveals that 97% of employees surveyed believe that poor communication as a result of inadequate business language skills can create misunderstanding.

A staggering 83% of employees report that poor business language skills have resulted in a negative impact on sales, profitability and efficiency of operations in their organizations.

It is therefore imperative that anyone who wants to succeed in business, managers and workers alike, focuses on improving business language skills.

Gaining competency over this particular skill will allow you to communicate with your peers, subordinates, supervisors, and clients easily and clearly, and this will bring an increase in productivity that will ultimately result in higher profitability.

Here are five simple ways that will allow you to improve your business language skills quickly:

1. Increase Your Vocabulary

Improving vocabulary is key in mastering the specialized words used in business language.

You can easily improve your vocabulary through training software that offers a comprehensive range of exercises. Learning commonly-used business idioms and abbreviations can also enhance your vocabulary.

Furthermore, you can do research on the Internet in order to find the terminology used in the specific field that you are currently employed in. It is important that you adopt an inquisitive approach towards learning, and find the meaning of any business word that you are currently unfamiliar with. A business dictionary can prove to be particularly helpful, since you’ll be able to find the complete meanings for new terms and their relevant usage within business communication.

2. Read Business-Related Material

You can significantly enhance your vocabulary by reading a wide variety of material related to your field or business.

Reading business information and current updates will not only allow you to remain abreast with the recent changes in the business environment but also allow you to keep up with any changes in terminology. This knowledge can prove to be essential when you are communicating with third parties or working on customer contracts.

3. Play Games

You can even learn business language by playing games like crosswords and word search games.

These games can allow you to enhance your business vocabulary while ensuring that the learning process is fun and engaging. Business-themed language games include crosswords based on financial terms and important concepts, or word search games using terminology from banking or industry. You can use free word-search puzzle generators to create your own games, if you can’t find one specific to your field.

4. Watch Business-Oriented Programs

Watching programs that focus on business is an excellent way to improve language skills, because the people in those programs will be using key terms frequently and correctly.

These programs are often hosted by experts in the field and therefore can prove to be an important source of valuable information and knowledge as well as vocabulary terms. Business terminology is naturally used on these programs and merely watching them attentively can help you grasp terms that are part of business communications.

Listening to or watching these programs will not only allow you to become familiar with new words but also learn their correct pronunciation and usage.

Simple knowledge of business terminology cannot completely eliminate the chance of misunderstanding in organizations; rather, an employee must be able to correctly use the terms so that the underlying message is effectively communicated to the second party. Watching these programs will allow you to understand the current business scenario while also becoming familiar with a range of words and their proper uses.

5. Practice

Learning new business terminology will not impact your communication skills until and unless these terms are used correctly in your the daily communication.

You must try to use as many relevant words as possible during your conversations with colleagues and peers. Furthermore, recently learned business terminology can and should be incorporated into the presentations you give, so that you are able to gain confidence in your ability to use the terminology.

Finally, you can practice your business language skills by writing business letters and memos.

An individual working in an organization is likely to need to communicate with stakeholders and peers through the medium of memos and letters. However, it must be remembered that letters and memos need to be to the point and precise. Your business language skills are critical during this point, because short sentences must convey your instructions, term, or requests. It is important to be familiar with the general writing pattern found in letter formats used in your industry. Use a formal tone where appropriate, and make sure the language you use helps to clearly convey the information.

It’s critical to have these language skills if you want to have a successful career.

As the study reports highlight, 30% of employers believe that new university graduates do not have the necessary command of basic English, much less the terms and concepts used in a specific field.

The success of a business lies in the capabilities and competencies of its employees and improving your business language skills can help you become a vital asset for your organization.





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3 Ways To Advertise Your Business Without Spending a Dime #stock #market #info

#advertise your business

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3 Ways To Advertise Your Business Without Spending a Dime

As a business owner, you already have a lot to worry about. From meeting deadlines and exceeding expectations to making sure all of your expenses are paid, it’s hard to wear so many hats at once. Add in a whole marketing plan and budget. and the costs can quickly get out of hand.

Luckily there are many ways to advertise your business without spending a dime. Here are some examples:

Every business website should have a blog attached to it. A blog enables a business to connect with their customers. You can show some behind the scenes action at your business, describe your products, and introduce your team. Starting a blog is very simple and if you have an already established website, you can typically download a blog template for free and get started right away.

Once you get more proficient with your blog. you can learn about search engine optimization and how to leverage your blog to ensure your customers can find you easier through a Google search.

Learn Pinterest Marketing

Pinterest is quickly becoming one of the most important social media sites out there. You can learn how to create images for your blog posts or your business for free with a service like Canva. and then post those images on Pinterest for free.

Watch free videos on how to use Pinterest effectively, join group boards, and regularly pin every day to find the marketing plan that works best for you. The best part is that this strategy will only cost you your time, not your money. and it can dramatically improve the traffic that goes to your website.

Word of Mouth Marketing

It might seem old school, but word of mouth marketing is still one of the best (free) ways to market your business. You can start by asking your current clients or customers to tell their friends and family about you. Lots of business owners don’t think to ask their clients to write a testimonial or offer to give a discount to them if they send business your way. For example, if you’re a hair stylist within a salon, you can tell your customers that you will give them a free haircut for every three new customers they send you. It’s a simple way to market that again, only costs you your time.

You should also regularly build your business contacts through attending networking events in your local area. Join your chamber of commerce, attending networking dinners, and hand out your business cards when you strike up a conversation with someone new. Remember, you are your best asset when it comes to your business and you’re also your own best salesperson because you know your business best.

Ultimately, you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on marketing for your business. With a little bit of time and focused effort, you can absolutely grow your business without spending a dime by networking with other business owners, optimizing your website, and learning social media strategies to grow your business.

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4 Ways To Predict Market Performance #business #magazines

#stock market results

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4 Ways To Predict Market Performance

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There are two prices that are critical for any investor to know: the current price of the investment he or she owns, or plans to own, and its future selling price. Despite this, investors are constantly reviewing past pricing history and using it to influence their future investment decisions. Some investors won’t buy a stock or index that has risen too sharply, because they assume that it’s due for a correction, while other investors avoid a falling stock, because they fear that it will continue to deteriorate.

Does academic evidence support these types of predictions, based on recent pricing? In this article, we’ll look at four different views of the market and learn more about the associated academic research that supports each view. The conclusions will help you better understand how the market functions, and perhaps eliminate some of your own biases.

Momentum
“Don’t fight the tape.” This widely quoted piece of stock market wisdom warns investors not to get in the way of market trends. The assumption is that the best bet about market movements is that they will continue in the same direction. This concept has is roots in behavioral finance. With so many stocks to choose from, why would investors keep their money in a stock that’s falling, as opposed to one that’s climbing? It’s classic fear and greed. (For more insight, see the Behavioral Finance tutorial.)

Studies have found that mutual fund inflows are positively correlated with market returns. Momentum plays a part in the decision to invest and when more people invest, the market goes up, encouraging even more people to buy. It’s a positive feedback loop.

A 1993 study by Narasimhan Jagadeesh and Sheridan Titman, “Returns to Buying Winners and Selling Losers,” suggests that individual stocks have momentum. They found that stocks that have performed well during the past few months, are more likely to continue their outperformance next month. The inverse also applies; stocks that have performed poorly, are more likely to continue their poor performance.

However, this study only looked ahead a single month. Over longer periods, the momentum effect appears to reverse. According to a 1985 study by Werner DeBondt and Richard Thaler, “Does the Stock Market Overreact?” stocks that have performed well in the past three to five years are more likely to underperform the market in the next three to five years and vice versa. This suggests that something else is going on: mean reversion .

Mean Reversion
Experienced investors who have seen many market ups and downs, often take the view that the market will even out, over time. Historically high market prices often discourage these investors from investing, while historically low prices may represent an opportunity.

The tendency of a variable, such as a stock price, to converge on an average value over time is called mean reversion. The phenomenon has been found in several economic indicators. including exchange rates. gross domestic product (GDP) growth, interest rates and unemployment. Mean reversion may also be responsible for business cycles. (For more insight, check out Economic Indicators To Know and Economic Indicators For The Do-It-Yoursel Investor .)

The research is still inconclusive about whether stock prices revert to the mean. Some studies show mean reversion in some data sets over some periods, but many others do not. For example, in 2000, Ronald Balvers, Yangru Wu and Erik Gilliland found some evidence of mean reversion over long investment horizons. in the relative stock index prices of 18 countries, which they described in the “Journal of Finance.”

However, even they weren’t completely convinced, as they wrote in their study, “A serious obstacle in detecting mean reversion is the absence of reliable long-term series, especially because mean-reversion, if it exists, is thought to be slow and can only be picked up over long horizons.”

Given that academia has access to at least 80 years of stock market research. this suggests that if the market does have a tendency to mean revert, it is a phenomenon that happens slowly and almost imperceptibly, over many years or even decades.

Martingales
Another possibility is that past returns just don’t matter. In 1965, Paul Samuelson studied market returns and found that past pricing trends had no effect on future prices and reasoned that in an efficient market. there should be no such effect. His conclusion was that market prices are martingales. (To read more, see Working Through The Efficient Market Hypothesis .)

A martingale is a mathematical series in which the best prediction for the next number is the current number. The concept is used in probability theory, to estimate the results of random motion. For example, suppose that you have $50 and bet it all on a coin toss. How much money will you have after the toss? You may have $100 or you may have $0 after the toss, but statistically the best prediction is $50; your original starting position. The prediction of your fortunes after the toss is a martingale. (To learn how this applies to trading, see Forex Trading The Martingale Way .)

In stock option pricing, stock market returns could be assumed to be martingales. According to this theory, the valuation of the option does not depend on the past pricing trend, or on any estimate of future price trends. The current price and the estimated volatility are the only stock-specific inputs.

A martingale in which the next number is more likely to be higher, is known as a sub-martingale. In popular literature, this motion is known as a random walk with upward drift. This description is consistent with the more than 80 years of stock market pricing history. Despite many short-term reversals. the overall trend has been consistently higher. (To learn more about random walk, read Financial Concepts: Random Walk .)

If stock returns are essentially random, the best prediction for tomorrow’s market price is simply today’s price, plus a very small increase. Rather than focusing on past trends and looking for possible momentum or mean reversion, investors should instead concentrate on managing the risk inherent in their volatile investments.

The Search for Value
Value investors purchase stock cheaply and expect to be rewarded later. Their hope is that an inefficient market has underpriced the stock, but that the price will adjust over time. The question is does this happen and why would an inefficient market make this adjustment?

Research suggests that this mispricing and readjustment consistently happens, although it presents very little evidence for why it happens.

In 1964, Gene Fama and Ken French studied decades of stock market history and developed the three-factor model to explain stock market prices. The most significant factor in explaining future price returns was valuation, as measured by the price-to-book ratio. Stocks with low price-to-book ratios delivered significantly better returns than other stocks. (To read more about this ratio, see Value By The Book .)

Valuation ratios tend to move in the same direction and in 1977, Sanjoy Basu found similar results for stocks with low price-earnings (P/E) ratios. Since then, the same effect has been found in many other studies across dozens of markets. (For more on this, check out Understanding The P/E Ratio .)

However, studies have not explained why the market is consistently mispricing these “value” stocks and then adjusting later. The only conclusion that could be drawn is that these stocks have extra risk, for which investors demand additional compensation. (To learn more about this phenomenon, read The Equity-Risk Premium: More Risk For Higher Returns and Calculating The Equity Risk Premium .)

Price is the driver of the valuation ratios, therefore, the findings do support the idea of a mean-reverting stock market. As prices climb, the valuation ratios get higher and, as a result, future predicted returns are lower. However, the market P/E ratio has fluctuated widely over time and has never been a consistent buy or sell signal .

The Bottom Line
Even after decades of study by the brightest minds in finance, there are no solid answers. The only conclusion that can be drawn is that there may be some momentum effects, in the short term. and a weak mean reversion effect, in the long term.

The current price is a key component of valuation ratios such as P/B and P/E, that have been shown to have some predictive power on the future returns of a stock. However, these ratios should not be viewed as specific buy and sell signals, just factors that have been shown to play a role in increasing or reducing the expected long-term return.





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10 Ways to Finance a New Business #small #business #loans

#how to finance a business

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10 Ways to Finance a New Business

When you were eight years old, you launched a highly profitable lemonade stand in your front yard. With nothing but a packet of instant drink mix, a crudely drawn sign and a winning smile, you grossed a whopping $2.35 in just an hour and 15 minutes. If only all new businesses were that easy.

According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, a research group, the average cost of starting a new business in the United States in 2005 was $70,000 [source: Consumer Reports]. In a 2004 survey of failed businesses, 79 percent of respondents said that starting out with too little money was a major cause of their collapse [source: Sugars ].

But how do you finance a new business? When you were eight, you could borrow the drink mix from mom. But now that you’re grown up, will she let you borrow her life savings?

Luckily, you’re not the first entrepreneur to start with nothing but a good idea. Keep reading to learn about 10 effective and creative ways to raise start-up capital for your new business.

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a data-track-gtm Byline href about-author.htm roos Dave Roos a 10 Ways to Finance a New Business 5 May 2009. br HowStuffWorks.com. lt http money.howstuffworks.com 10-ways-to-finance-new-business.htm gt 3 September 2016″ href=”#”>Citation Date





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12 Ways to Make Money Online – Business Opportunities #registered #business #names

#internet business opportunities

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12 Ways to Make Money Online

Regardless of your area of expertise, there is a plethora of opportunities out there for you to make money online. Someone, somewhere can use your skills and talents – and they’re willing to pay you for it.

However, use caution when you see the phrase “make money online,” as it could be a scam. Christine Durst, consultant to the FBI on Internet scam issues told Woman’s Day magazine, There is currently a 61-to-1 scam ratio among work-at-home job leads on the Internet – that is, for every legitimate job, there are 61 scams.

So how can you tell? Here’s a hint: Legit job offers never require you to pay a fee to get more information, nor do they come in unsolicited junk emails.

We’ve made it easy for you. Here’s a list of 13 (legit) ways to make money online. While some have bigger payouts than others, if done the right way they can all add up to a healthy income.

1. Become an Online Reseller

An online reseller purchases items and resells them on sites like eBay to make a profit. Sellers determine the price by the market and the value of items they sell, so it’s imperative that you have a strong knowledge of what the product is worth (market value). Depending on the volume of your business, reselling on eBay and other sites could become a lucrative full-time job.

2. Try Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is one of the fastest-growing ways to earn money online. What’s great about becoming an affiliate marketer is that you don’t have to create any products yourself. You just link up a buyer and a seller, and you take a commission on the sale. One piece of advice, don’t join every affiliate program you come across in hopes of increasing your streams of revenue. Choose wisely and don’t overload yourself. Here are some of the most popular affiliate programs to help you get started: CJ Affiliate. ClickBank. Google AdSense and Rakuten LinkShare .

3. Virtual Independent Contractor

Customer service has evolved in the last few decades. It’s no longer about just answering questions from a cubicle in a call center. Larger companies like J. Crew, Express Jet, 1-800-flowers and IRS outsource their customer service to third parties who then hire home-based workers to take calls. Become an independent contractor with LiveOps and you will have the freedom to operate your own business providing customer service right from the comfort of your own home.

With a college degree and skills in math, science, English or a variety of other subjects, online tutoring might be the right fit for a little extra cash. At Tutor.com. working as an independent contractor can earn you around $10-$14 per hour based on the subject and hours worked. The busier you are with your home tutoring business. the more money you can make. Some online tutors bring in up to $1,600 a month.

Although most transcription companies will require you to pass an entrance exam, once you get your foot in the door there is real opportunity to make money. TranscribeMe offers short audio files to be transcribed at a rate of $14 per audio hour, with potential to earn up to $20. The key here is audio hour – your speed and efficiency will determine your overall hourly rate.

Registered nurses should consider a company like Fonemed. which provides phone-based triage and medical information to customers in Canada and the US. Companies like Fonemed contract with medical-related clients, doctor’s offices and pediatrician’s offices to answer questions during non-office hours (usually weeknights and weekends). To be considered, you must be licensed in the state or province where you are located and have at least three years of recent clinical experience with adults and children. Typical Fonemed nurses make $27 an hour and are eligible for benefits like health insurance and paid leave.

You don’t need a computer science background to get into the app biz. What makes app development such an attractive opportunity is minimal overhead. While $0.99 is a cheap price for a consumer, multiply that by the millions of people who have the device to download it. So, get brainstorming. Yours could be the next killer app.

8. Take Online Surveys

You definitely won’t get rich taking surveys online, but it’s an easy way to earn a little cash on the side. Do your homework and make sure the survey company is legitimate. My Survey. Pinecone Research and SurveySpot are just a few you should check out.

9. Closed Captioning

Work from home doing court reporting or creating closed captioning for the hearing impaired for television, videos, etc. It’s an industry you can break into with just a little training that inevitably pays quite well. Captioning is generally done with a stenotype machine, and if you are trained to use one it is possible to type over 200 words per minute. If you aren’t trained, visit the National Court Reporting Association for more information.

10 Take Part in an Online Jury

Think about this. Companies like eJury.com and OnlineVerdict.com will pay you to sit on mock juries to give attorneys and consultants feedback on cases they are working on. These cases are real and your verdict will give them a prediction of how things might go in the courtroom. Payment ranges from $5 to $60.

11. Become a Virtual Assistant

Business owners and other professionals are in need of personal assistants but can’t afford to add a permanent position. So what do they do? They hire remotely to address their administrative needs. Contact businesses in your area or register with an agency like Zirtual.com to get stated.

12. Flip Domain Names

One of the easiest ways to make money online is by buying a domain name for a low price and selling it for a higher price. You can purchase domain names through sites like GoDaddy or in an online auction at NameJet. There are dozens of reasons why domains expire, and you can profit from them. Flipping domains doesn’t cost a fortune to start and you can flip as many domains as possible.

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