Saturday, November 9, 2013

Situational Leadership for Organizational Development

The Situational Leadership method from Kenneth Blanchard and Paul Hersey holds that manager must use different leadership styles depending on the situation. The model allows one to analyze the needs of the situation and then use the most appropriate leadership style. Depending on person's competencies and commitment to the task, the leadership style should vary from one person to another. Blanchard and Hersey characterized leadership style in terms of amount of direction and the support that the leader gives to his/her followers. Effective leaders are able to move around according to situation, so there is no one style that is right. Likewise, the competence and commitment of the follower is also distinguished. Similar to leadership style, developmental levels are also situational. Blanchard and Hersey said that the leadership style of the leader must correspond to the development level of follower and it's the leader who adapts. By adapting the right style to suit the follower's developmental level, work gets done, relationships are built, and most importantly the follower's developmental level rises to everyone's benefit.
Hersey and Blanchard suggest that no single combination of task and relationship behavior is suitable in all situations. The one important factor for choosing the most suitable style of leadership for a given situation is follower readiness.
Follower readiness includes both the ability components and the willingness components that a person needs to complete a particular task successfully. The ability component includes knowledge, skill and experience needed to understand and perform the task. The willingness component includes confidence, commitment and motivation needed to perform the task.
The follower readiness can be divided into four levels. (Adapted from Paul Hersey, Situational Setting). Readiness levels are formed by different combinations of skill components and emotional components that are brought by people to each work.
1. Readiness level 1 (R1) - The follower is unable and unwilling to perform a task. He is not only lacking in specific skills required to do the job but also lacks confidence, commitment and motivation to tackle it.
2. Readiness level 2 (R2) - The follower is unable but willing to perform a task. The follower is lacking in specific skills but has confidence and motivation to make an effort. They can accomplish the task with help. The task or the situation might be new to him.
3. Readiness level 3 (R3)- The follower is able to perform the task but he is not willing to do it. He is experienced and capable but lacks the confidence to do it. For example a very bright student in the class is very good in solving math problems but lately he is not motivated to work on his homework.
4. Readiness level 4 (R4) - The follower has the knowledge, skill and experience to perform the task. He is fully confident, committed and motivated to do it.
There are different situational leadership models but the one most commonly used is the Hersey-Blanchard model, which separates leadership behavior into two general categories. Task behavior which is the communication and management of a work task that a group must accomplish with the follower and the Relationship Behavior, which is creation and maintenance of personal and emotional connections between the leader and the follower. Hersey and Blanchard suggest that no single combination of Task and relationship behavior is suitable in all instances but the different combinations are best for different situations. The four leadership styles are described as follows:
1. High task, low relationship (S1) - This leadership style includes more input of task behavior and less amounts of relationship behavior. The group members might have little experience with a given job. The leader will tell them what to do, when, where, how and who's to do it. For example, the principal of a school is planning a science-training workshop for the teachers. He as a leader may need to provide a specific checklist, sequence of actions involved, list the responsibility of the teachers in detail and frequently monitor the progress of a group.
2. High task, high relationship (S2) - This leadership style needs high inputs of both task and relationship behavior. The followers may not have the necessary knowledge or skill but they are committed and eager to learn. They need guidance and directions for accomplishing the task. But since they are making an effort, the leader should provide encouragement and motivation to the followers.
3. High relationship, low task (S3) - This particular leadership style needs high inputs of relationship behavior and very low inputs of task behavior. The followers do not need a great deal of structure and direction as they have already demonstrated that they know how to perform. They need support and encouragement from the leader in order to build their confidence.
4. High task, low relationship (S4) - This style needs very low inputs of both task and relationship behavior. The followers in this case are competent and willing to perform a task. Very little guidance and direction is needed. They do not need a lot of supportive behavior. Still, the leaders need to see that the followers stay on the track and the leaders get some feedback about the task.
Leaders may change their leadership style over time from directing (S1) to coaching (S2) to supporting (S3) to delegating (S4) as performance improves. But if progress is not made, the leaders might have to back up and redirect their team until there is improvement. Leaders need to decide and do what the people are not able to do for themselves. There is no one best leadership style. The kind of leadership style that will be applicable in a particular case depends on the follower readiness in that situation.
1. For readiness level 1 follower, the leadership style S1 is suitable. The words used for this kind of leadership behavior are telling/directing/guiding/structuring. This includes high task, low relationship focus. Decisions are made by the leader and announced. The communication is largely one way. The followers need directions and supervision.
2. For the readiness level 2 followers, the leadership style S2 is suitable. They need high task, high relationship focus. Leaders define the roles and the tasks but seek ideas and suggestions from the followers. Communication becomes two-way. The follower is relatively inexperienced so he needs direction and supervision. They also need support and praise to get them motivated. Their involvement in decision-making will restore their commitment. The words best describing their leadership situation are selling/coaching/explaining/persuading.
3. For the readiness level 3 followers, the leadership style S3 is suitable. They need low task, high relationship focus. The leader facilitates and takes part in the decisions but the control is with the follower. They do not need much direction but support is necessary to boost their confidence and motivation. The style is of participating/encouraging/supporting.
4. For the readiness level 4 followers, the leadership style 4 is suitable. This has a low task, low relationship focus. The followers are able and willing to work on a task by themselves and need only little supervision and support. For example, a software engineer is skilled, competent and confident for the technical aspects of his job but it unable to workout his budget. So, the engineer's manager would provide little direction on the technical issues (S4), but a high deal of direction and close supervision over the engineer's budget (S1-directing or S2-coaching).
Situational Leadership is a model that allows the manager or leader to analyze the needs in a situation and then adopt the most appropriate leadership style. The mystery of leadership and follower ship goes on all around us and within us. We are all in some measure leaders and followers-as most of us, alternatively are parents and children, employers and employees, teachers and taught.
Meenu Arora has contibuted her articles for both online and hard copy magazines. Her articles have also been published in international magazines. Presently working in the healthcare industry, she has also written and edited Health Q-A columns for international magazine for 5 years.

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Baby Planning Skills Can Turn Into a Business

If you have experience planning for a baby and knowing what to expect before you have a baby, you might be surprised to learn that you actually have the skills to start your own baby planning business.

A baby planner is a consultant that can come into a newly expecting mothers home and help consult her on what things she can do to prepare for the baby.

Some of the skills it takes to be a good baby planner are:

- Listening skills and the ability to relate to people
- The desire to help people
- The ability to be organized
- The ability to make suggestions to people and help them feel good about themselves

The more experience you having planning for babies, the more suited you will be for the task.

Baby planning is also a great career for someone who needs flexibility with their work schedule. Baby planning services would be so flexible. You could visit with clients at only the times when it works best for you. You could also run the baby planning services from your home and do online consultations only.

There is a lot of flexibility with a baby planning career and there is also hardly any competition. There are VERY few baby planners in the US as of 2011.

The cost of starting a baby planning business is very low. You will need to start with a plan and a checklist of those things that you will need to cover with your clients. You will be visiting with them, either online or over the internet and helping them prepare for their new baby. If personal visits seem too unrealistic for your lifestyle, you might want to set up an online baby planning consulting business. Nowadays, it can be very simple to set up your own website.

You will need to market your business also. But, there are many free ways to market yourself online and offline if you are starting out on a tight budget. As your business grows, then you might want to consider putting more money into marketing to bring in more clients. The nice thing about a baby planning career is that there is no equipment to buy or expensive start up fees. You can start as small as you would like.

If you have experience with babies and baby planning and are looking for a way to work from home, definitely consider starting a business as a baby planning consultant. -- Learn How To Start a Baby Planning Business of your own! I can teach you all the steps and tricks to building your business and marketing your baby planning business. Visit for more detailed advice. Source:

Monday, October 14, 2013

How to Find Clients for Your Virtual Assistant Business

You have your business setup. Your finances are covered for a couple of months and you are ready to get your clients and start making some money. Social media is the usual route. But now you have more options. Companies like Elance, odesk, freelancers are the best way to go. You are applying with business owners that are in need of a virtual Assistant not just advertising to businesses that may or may not need your assistance.
These companies are freelance companies. Which means business owners go to these companies to save on hiring an actual person to help with their work load. They may have someone on maternity leave and need to hire someone for a couple of months to do her job, or they may be a small company just starting out and do not have the space or the money to hire an assistant.
This is where Elance, Odesk, and comes in. The business owner post the job they need done for their business such as: data entry, transcription, customer support, email support, customer service call center support, desk top, excel and much more. Your job is to set up a profile with each company and start your search. Your profile should concise of your personal information and your business information, also your skills and a resume. It is very important that your profile has all information needed for business owners to review. Once this is done for each company they have test you can take. Some are free and some may cost you. The cost is only $4-$6 USD at most. I would advise that you take the time to take some of the test. This way you will have some credentials added to your profile.
The next step is applying for jobs. They have jobs that are as low as $4 an hour. I know this seems like you are really under paid and you may be, but this will help you build your profile. When employers look at your profile and see that you have done 3-4 jobs already with good feed back they will hire you over someone else that would not have any feedback. So you should apply and take the jobs for $4 just for now to get experience and build your profile. Once you have done a couple of jobs you can now start to apply for jobs offering $7-$10 an hour.
Make sure the companies you work for you build and great work relationship with them. Your goal is to try to keep them as your client. Offer them extra help, this way they will love your work and you can then offer to add them to your own client list. This is a great way to start building your client list for your business.
Freelancers For Business
For more information on Virtual Assistants please go to
Tisha Robinson

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Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Best Home Businesses For Women - Or Is It Women Over 50?

The best home businesses for women are...and you will get hundreds and possibly thousands of answers. Why? Simply because the best home businesses for women depends on various factors, such as age, personal skills, educational background, drive or tenacity, but most importantly, personal expectations, both from a financial and emotional standpoint. This article will attempt to demystify some common misconceptions and help to serve as a short guide on how to settle on the best home businesses for women.
To this day, recommendations are still being made regarding home business ideas for women that revolve around the traditional roles of women. Day care centers, making gift baskets, paid surveys, typing jobs, pet or nanny services have all been mentioned as potential areas of interest to women. However, survey after survey have claimed that the BEST HOME BUSINESSES FOR WOMEN are actually INTERNET BASED, resulting in the most rewarding overall benefits.
Women over 50 in particular have expressed an overall satisfaction level that seems to be superior to other population segments, perhaps due to the social obstacles placed in their path. For the mature woman, learning computer skills is challenging, but once this task has been accomplished, (even in its most rudimentary form) a whole new world is opened. It is said in the world of business, age discrimination is reportedly still rampant as is financial discrimination-- another often mentioned obstacle, as individuals charged with the power to grant loans for a brick and mortar business tend to be younger and more inclined to view borrowers in their 50s, who are nearing retirement, 'as not prime'. This makes internet based businesses ideal for women over 50 as they do not require substantial investments.
That being said, the greatest boost to women over 50 having an online business may actually be of an emotional health nature. It's been found that sometimes the feeling of isolation associated with aging, can veer towards the tangible. This causes them to experience a sense of jubilation in having their own internet business. This sense of jubilation can lead to increased self esteem and mental stimulation as women over 50 interact on the internet with other people from around the world. No longer feeling isolated, these women tend to forget about their age and perform just like any younger age group. And as an aside, of course there are the obvious emotional benefits of running a home business, such as the ability to set one's own agenda, determine one's own income or being closer to the family.
When researching online for the best home businesses for women, new internet marketers, particularly women over 50 can experience high levels of frustration just from the sheer number of business opportunities offered online. Most reviews are rather not objective, therefore a well researched and trusted name is absolutely key to success.
For those just tiptoeing into this field, spending large sums of money will just be an exercise in further frustration. You must take your time and do your research. Be willing to learn; take advantage of the free online information on internet businesses. See what educational internet courses are being offered in your neighborhood or nearby community college.
Though there may be tons of resources available to help you succeed, the question motivated are you to start your own you have the patience, drive, tenacity and perseverance necessary to be successful? I'm sure you know that you're going to need all of these attributes in order to succeed, but there is one other-- you must also be fearless!
So Women Over 50, if you are ready...this is YOUR GET EXCITED...WORK YOUR SHOW and remember... YOU ROCK!
If you're looking for an honest ethical and legitimate opportunity to generate a full time income from home
For free training, free education and a free income generating website

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Saturday, September 28, 2013

How to Start a Software Development Service Business

If you are really passionate about software development, why not start your own software development service that will provide consumers with exactly what they are looking for? Many people with this talent overlook the demand for them and their abilities in the market place and they pursue other careers when they needn't do anything but what they love and are naturally good at. You can start your own company, in fact there is plenty of room in the Arizona software development market for you and your talents and your knowledge and abilities will only grow and become more focused when you start your own business. The time is now, what are you waiting for?
Perhaps you are not actually a Phoenix software development expert but you see the need for such a service. You can still pursue this type of business you simply need to know where and when to hire the right people that do have the skills and the knowledge needed. You also need to come up with a plan as to when and why you need to outsource services to other places, places that perhaps a world away from where you are.
To create a Scottsdale software development service, or a service that is based in any area actually you need a few key things. First, you need to be a person or be able to hire a person that is good at designing, such as the interface of the program. Then, you need one to three programmers that can then lay out the basic framework of the program. Not only do you need programmers, you need affordable programmers that can write code for the program. Lastly, you need to be a person or be able to hire a person that can speak with and deal with potential clients that you want to win contracts with. When you are able to build this team you will be able to successfully start your own software development service, and if you market right and really put yourself out there you will start making money in no time at all!
This sounds like a lot of work, right? Luckily, if you have this interest you may already have some of the abilities needed to make your company a success. If you are lucky you probably also have friends or acquaintances that would be willing to fill other needs of the company. Many people are able to start their own software development company with a group of friends because each is able to fulfill the needs of the company and in very little time they are a thriving service provider that is able to offer competitive rates to customers and provide each of those involved with a comfortable living.
Caitlina Fuller is a freelance writer. You can start your own company, in fact there is plenty of room in the Arizona software development market for you and your talents and your knowledge and abilities will only grow and become more focused when you start your own business. The time is now, what are you waiting for? Perhaps you are not actually a Phoenix software development expert but you see the need for such a service.

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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Why Cleaning Companies Need A Contact Strategy

Why Cleaning Companies Need A Contact Strategy
Customers are the livelihood of any business, especially in a services industry such as cleaning. For this reason, it is integral a contact strategy be formulated within your cleaning company.
What is a contact strategy? A contact strategy is a process that businesses implement to create rules that the company expects to deliver in creating strong, customizable customer interactions. I will be sharing three aspects you should institute as part of your contact strategy.
The first is to identify what type of customer and/or environment you are interested in servicing. Each cleaning company will have different goals, objectives, etc. and it would be to your benefit to align yourself with specific customers who meet the criteria you define as important for your cleaning company. Why waste time and effort prospecting in areas that are not a good fit based on your criteria? The successful cleaning companies are the ones who are sales efficient because they know exactly what they are looking for in a customer, why the criteria that has been defined is important, and how their specific cleaning company will provide relevant value. Once this framework has been established you will be able to maximize your time identifying appropriate sales prospects to target.
The second aspect of a contact strategy is to have a system in place that will organize and automate the customer intelligence you collect from the prospecting stage to the post-sale stage. These areas would include sales, marketing, customer service and technical support. All the customer intelligence you collect can then be accessed, maintained and shared by your employees who have interaction with your customers in a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform. There are many CRM solutions in the marketplace. I suggest you research and choose the one that best fits with your cleaning operation. The goal at the end of the day in implementing a CRM solution is to find, attract, win, nurture and retain your customers.
The third part of your contact strategy should be to leverage Social Media. I am sure you have probably heard the buzz of YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn and so on. Believe it or not customers are being introduced to these media types and beginning to see the value that these resources can have in their own organizations. Customers are leveraging social media to educate themselves, find referrals for cleaning services, build new relationships, and identify success stories to name a few. From the service provider perspective imagine being able to post a YouTube video of a current satisfied customer on your web site for validation, sharing best practices with your customers via Twitter, making a warm introduction via Facebook or providing relevant cleaning industry content via Email-Marketing/Electronic Newsletters. These are all means of interacting with your customers in a way that is refreshing and less intrusive. You are positioning yourself as an Expert in your industry while at the same time providing relevant content. Take the opportunity to be creative and think out of the box on how you can elevate and satisfy your customer's experience leveraging Social Media.
Defining a contact strategy is one that will prove to be fruitful for your cleaning company as it will help you focus on building strong relationships with your customers while at the same time ensure your internal team is on the same page on how to best service the clients cleaning needs. Take advantage of leveraging the technology that was outlined above to make your relationship building with your customers easy and results oriented.
Douglass Barrios is the Founder of GLOBAL INFORMA, a Bi-Lingual motivational sales organization that focuses on helping Small Business Entrepreneurs grow their business by providing customized training, consulting and speaking services.
GLOBAL INFORMA has an extensive background in Sales, Business Development and Entrepreneurial success in the Commercial Cleaning Industry. In efforts to help current and aspiring Commercial Cleaning Business Owners create compelling, winning, cleaning proposals; The System Designed To Help You Win More Business, was created.

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Marketing Research Effectiveness

Marketing research can be used to meet nearly all the marketing information needs of the small businessperson. Every area from developing a business plan to designing an effective advertising program can benefit from the use of carefully planned and executed research.
How Is Marketing Research Used?
Let's take the example of developing a business plan. When you first sit down with that blank piece of paper and dream of owning your own business, you should be asking yourself questions such as: What am I going to sell? Will people buy what I sell? How much should I charge? Where should I locate? How much competition is there and who are they? Questions such as these should be at the heart of any effective business plan, and marketing research can help you answer them.
Let's say, for example, you've decided to turn your passion for fishing into your livelihood, and you open your own tackle and equipment store. You feel there is a need for such a service and are ready, willing and able to jump at the opportunity. One of your first steps might be finding out how many other tackle shops are in your area to get a feel for the level of competition. A quick glance through your local Yellow Pages would readily supply you with this information. Congratulations! You've just completed your first marketing research project. As the questions become more difficult to answer, however, the marketing research must become more sophisticated. For example, although you might be able to partially determine the demand for a fishing tackle shop by talking to your neighbors and "fishing buddies," their interest won't tell you how all the people in your area feel (and you know how those fisherman lie!). A better approach would be to commission or conduct a scientific survey of a representative sample of all local consumers. Much of the background information necessary for a useful, working business plan can be collected using marketing research. Consider the following examples of where marketing research can be of benefit:
New Product or Offering
Many new product lines or special offers ("10% Off!") are the results of careful marketing research, which can determine customer needs and wants and allow you to supply your customers with just the "right" product or service. Research can be used to determine the impact of special sales programs or discount offers and can even be used to introduce a new product before the expense of fully doing so is incurred.
Pricing is a crucial marketing element in all businesses, whether large or small, and marketing research can supply precise information for pricing decisions. Well-designed research can determine the true trade-off between price and the amount of sales before committing to a specific sales program.
Many small business owners are very concerned with the promotion and advertising of their businesses. Considering the cost of advertising today, their concerns are well founded. One of the most frequently asked questions is: "How effective is my advertising?" The answer can be determined with many types of formal and informal research techniques. For example, a separate telephone line with a number that appears only in your Yellow Pages ad can be installed. By placing a tally sheet next to the phone, a count can be recorded every time a call comes in on that line. By the end of the month, you will be able to tabulate exactly how many calls are generated by your Yellow Pages ad and then determine its effectiveness. These strategies are just a few of the many possible applications marketing research has for small businesses.
Learning how to persuade and influence will make the difference between hoping for a better income and having a better income. Beware of the common mistakes presenters and persuaders commit that cause them to lose the deal.
Persuasion is the missing puzzle piece that will crack the code to dramatically increase your income, improve your relationships, and help you get what you want, when you want, and win friends for life. Ask yourself how much money and income you have lost because of your inability to persuade and influence. Think about it. Sure you've seen some success, but think of the times you couldn't get it done. Has there ever been a time when you did not get your point across? Were you unable to convince someone to do something? Have you reached your full potential? Are you able to motivate yourself and others to achieve more and accomplish their goals? What about your relationships? Imagine being able to overcome objections before they happen, know what your prospect is thinking and feeling, feel more confident in your ability to persuade. Professional success, personal happiness, leadership potential, and income depend on the ability to persuade, influence, and motivate others.
Kurt Mortensen’s trademark is Magnetic Persuasion; rather than convincing others, he teaches that you should attract them, just like a magnet attracts metal filings. He teaches that sales have changed and the consumer has become exponentially more skeptical and cynical within the last five years. Most persuaders are using only 2 or 3 persuasion techniques when there are actually 120 available! His message and program has helped thousands and will help you achieve unprecedented success in both your business and personal life.

If you are ready to claim your success and learn what only the ultra-prosperous know, begin by going to and getting my free report "10 Mistakes That Continue Costing You Thousands." After reading my free report, go to and take the free Persuasion IQ analysis to determine where you rank and what area of the sales cycle you need to improve in order to close every sale!

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

BizTalk Developer Can Make Your Business More Productive

Microsoft BizTalk Server is a multilayered enterprise software platform and integration tool that widely helps large companies to automate their business processes and improve productivity in numerous ways. Basically BizTalk Server is used for Integration of Enterprise Application, Business Process Automation, Message broker, Business-to-business Communication, and Business Activity Monitoring. It empowers the companies by enabling exchange of business documents such as invoices between various software applications within the organization. You can leverage the capabilities of BizTalk that can enormously benefit your organization by below features:

1) Can perform Integration of enterprise applications easily

2) Intelligent data map and transformation tools available

3) Easy-to-use BizTalk data map and line-of-business (LOB) Connectivity

4) Improved EDI and IBM Host/ Mainframe connectivity

5) Allows rapid development of RFID solutions using built-in components

6) Simplified the management of solution

7) Visual monitoring and diagnostics capabilities

8) Single yet comprehensive parameter settings dashboard for efficient performance tuning to streamline deployments across environments

9) Supports SQL Server backup compression and Transparent data encryption

10) Improved enterprise interoperability

11) Efficient B2B integration with scalable Trading Partner Management (TPM) and advance capabilities for complex data mapping

12) More secure and improved FTP adaptor

13) Adapter support for latest application versions. Can be customized to best suite the business requirements.

When you decide to deploy BizTalk in your company there are two options you can have in your mind and that is to commence development in-house by hiring a new BizTalk developer or by training your own IT guy and another option is by outsourcing to BizTalk consultants. There is always a debate on whether outsourcing is the right step or not. Well if you are quering between both the options, so consider below factors:

Cost Saving:
If you plan to train your in-house staff than there are possibilities that the staff might take long time to understand exactly how the BizTalk integration to be performed. On the other side if you outsource the task to BizTalk consultants or hire a BizTalk developer from a software development company you get assured of well experienced resource on duty who can understand your organization needs and can help in best leveraging BizTalk capabilities. Moreover the rates you pay while outsourcing is far low than you hire a resource onsite. Another cost benefit you get is in terms of infrastructure, as the outsourcing service provider are always equipped with software and hardware infrastructure.

Time Saving:
A onsite resource require you dedication in terms of time for getting trained, managed and monitor. While outsourcing proves to be a better option because all you need to do is to explain your requirements, while all other tasks are performed by BizTalk consultants. Hence all your time is saved which you can utilize n your core business activities to improve company productivity.

Risk Management and Change Management:
In case your onsite BizTalk developer is not well experienced the risk management capabilities will be very weak. This can create a chaos if anything goes wrong. A well experienced BizTalk Consultants can take care of such situation and effectively forecast and manage risky situation. They also well versed with change management adoption whenever required. Hence hiring a BizTalk developer from outsourcing service provider is a right choice. -- Priscill ablythe is a well experienced BizTalk developer working in an outsourcing company. He is the most talented professional in the team of BizTalk consultants at the company. Source:

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Career Development - Why Is It Necessary?

Are you a student and are quite confused about your career? Many students answer to this question positively because they are indeed perplexed about their future. When you too come across such situation, it means it is the right time you decide about your goals in life.

Career development is basically related to shaping or molding your career after education process or while pursuing the same. It also comprises of getting acquainted to new skills, and making upgradations that help you in building your career. Career development is actually a constant, lifetime procedure to help you discover and accomplish more in your career.

Talking about career development is not that easy, as it seems to be. It requires deep thought about yourself including your educational background, your personal likings, and hobbies etc. Many times, it is observed that what you study throughout your life does not become your career option; instead your curricular activities like dancing, poetry or some sports become your career choice. So, giving a thought at right age and at the right time will definitely help you boom in your career.

There are various career development seminars and sessions conducted by resources that guide you to choose the best suitable career option. Students can always seek help of such programs. The guidance is provided by knowledgeable and experienced professionals by undertaking certain tests that help in your analysis.

Instead of limiting your future, a happening and better career goal may help you to explore varied career opportunities that you must have not even thought of. You can find many career options with single career goal. Today, there are various career development courses that are specialized in providing you with excellent training, communication skills and transform you into confident and great personality. You should definitely join such courses, in order to discover the personality within you! -- James Copper writes articles for where you can find advice on finding a new career with their career development services Source:

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Excel Bookkeeping - Easy to Use

Generally, bookkeeping software is a key element of maintaining an efficient bookkeeping system. Bookkeeping is an essential part of any business- either small or large. Essentially bookkeeping could be defined as the act of accounting or recording the financial transactions which is done by a business, by an organization, or by private individual.

The definition of bookkeeping is not solely pointed to a business alone, as many persons could actually apply a bookkeeping system in various ways to assist them to account for the various financial transactions and activities on a day to day basis.

Bookkeeping services are tailored to your business. All businesses are different with its basic needs and nature. Excel bookkeeping eliminate the cost and management of a full time employee. Whether you are a start-up company or have been in business for many years, with lesser employees, excel bookkeeping services can be tailored to meet your unique needs.

In todays fast pace business world, the help of computers is essential for successful management of any bookkeeping system in the form of bookkeeping software. Mainly accounting and bookkeeping software are designed to combine bookkeepers and accountants in dealing with their responsibilities. In market, there are lots of bookkeeping softwares are available i.e. IRIS, LaCerte, MYOB, Peachtree, QuickBooks, Quicken, Sage Line 50, and they are built for PC or PDAs and even for some mobile phones.

Along these softwares, there is one simpler option which most computers in the world over have installed and may be without even being aware of it. This accounting bookkeeping software is part of Microsoft's Office Suite, Microsoft's Excel. It can perform the majority of tasks required for the bookkeeping of any business and especially it is useful for small businesses.

We can say that Microsoft Excel is a basic accounting bookkeeping software program, which is designed to interface brilliantly with all other Microsoft applications. Microsoft Excel is an accounting bookkeeping software that is bundled with Microsoft's Office Suite already, so there is no need to pay extra money for a non-Microsoft product which will save your monetary headache. It is highly user friendly and available with related help menus to ensure that you are going in a perfect direction or not.

Whichever accounting bookkeeping software you decide on, it is important to understand the needs and complexity of your bookkeeping services, in other words it matches with the software and it can meet these needs efficiently and accurately. If your needs are relatively simple, there would be no need to look other than Microsoft excel as it is almost free and simple which can fulfill your accounting bookkeeping software requirements. -- You can get more information on excel bookkeeping at Source:

How To Develop A Strategic Marketing Communications Plan

As Branding and marketing professionals, we have an in-depth understanding of the importance of a marketing plan. However, not everyone recognizes the benefits of investing in a strategic marketing plan prior to launching strategies and tactics that seem intuitive at the time. The following few paragraphs attempt to impart our understanding of a well-written plan's importance by first defining some of key elements of the role of marketing in most organizations.

Defines Focus: Your strategic marketing plan gives the company, and everyone in it, a benchmark to measure all marketing activities against. A well-developed strategic marketing plan not only gives you a structured strategic and tactical outline, but also defines your target audience, messages, goals, and objectives, in a way that allows flexibility. A structured plan provides a benchmark to measure all marketing activities and ensure that the investment they require meet the needs and goals of the marketing plan - preventing you from spending on wasted efforts. It helps staff understand goals and become customer-focused. It also empowers them to make decisions on their own that are consistent with the company's objectives.

Tracks Costs / Measures Value: A marketing plan provides a step-by-step guide to what you are spending money on and when. It enables you to budget marketing expenses--helping you keep control of your expenditures, manage your cash flow, track sales to marketing expense ratio, and measure success of your marketing efforts. It also ensures that product development dollars are not wasted.

Charts Success: A marketing plan helps you chart your destination point. It becomes a guide through unfamiliar territory.

Captures Thinking on Paper: The finance department isn't allowed to run a company by keeping numbers in their heads. It should be no different with marketing. Your written document lays out your game plan. If people leave, if new people arrive, if memories falter, the information in the written marketing plan stays intact.

Reflects the BIGPictureä: In the daily routine of putting out fires, it's hard to turn your attention to the big picture, especially those parts that aren't directly related to the daily operations. Writing your marketing plan helps in determining your current business status and provides a roadmap for business goals.

Becomes a Document to Build On: Creating your very first strategic marketing plan is a time and resource consuming endeavor, but well worth the effort. Once the plan is complete, you just need to make minor adjustments and tweaks to it; you won't have to re-create it from scratch. It will serve as a template and benchmark for you to work from as you define your objectives and strategies for future years. It becomes a living document for measuring sales success, customer retention, product development, and sales initiatives.

Where Do You Start?

The best place to start is to evaluate where you are now. How are you positioned in the market? How do your customers see you? What are your strengths/weaknesses, and what are some emerging market threats and opportunities?

Typically the strategic marketing plan is done in sequential phases--each part of the plan builds off of the phase before it. Your strategic marketing plan also needs the help of most everyone; it cannot be completed without the assistance of many people within the company: finance, operations, sales, management, and marketing.

Your Strategic Marketing Plan Should Include Include:

Phase 1

Situation Analysis: Defines the market dynamics and identifies client’s position in the market as it currently exists and will summarize the current situation from an internal and external perspective.

Industry Overview: Defines the current market situation and explores market trends and product consumption.

Competitive Profile: Identifies key players in the market and defines their positions, strategies and initiatives. This section is designed to give the client a clear understanding of the competitive dynamics of the marketplace and will provide you with valuable information for developing your future strategies and target markets.

Customer Profile: Provides an analysis of each of the potential target markets, regarding their use of the product and the factors affecting their buying process. This information is gathered using a variety of research tactics and may include you contacting a number of organizations within each category to gather facts about the buying process.

S. W. O. T. (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats):
Provides client with an in-depth view of the strengths and weaknesses of his or her organization, both from an internal and external perspective. It also defines potential opportunities and threats. This section is critical because it provides an objective summary of both perceptions and issues that will affect the success of future marketing efforts.

Target markets: Key target markets will be identified given the competitive situation, growth potential and product offering of the client. These markets will provide the best opportunity to develop strong brand awareness and will maximize the potential for both market share and revenue growth.

Phase 2

Key Objectives: Once all of the information is gathered during Phase I of the plan, you will work as a group to define the key objectives that will be instrumental in developing future strategies and tactics.

Positioning: After reviewing the industry, competitive information, company objectives, you will then define the new positioning in the marketplace. It will tie directly to the company ’s strengths and will reinforce its objectives and strategies.

Summary: A summarization of all relevant factors and information will be completed prior to developing strategies and tactics.

Phase 3
Strategies: You will then develop marketing and communication strategies that support the positioning and key objectives. These strategies will address channels of distribution, as well as define key corporate sales messaging.

Tactics: A list of marketing and communication initiatives that support and reinforce the company’s positioning, objectives and strategies will be developed. You will identify and produce the marketing support tools that provide the largest return on investment and ones that will substantially increase a client’s brand recognition and market share.

The Strategic Marketing Plan is a comprehensive effort that will allow a company to direct its resources toward achieving a common goal. It has been our experience that a Marcom plan plays a vital role in developing accurate messaging and provides a forum for consistently delivering those messages to your marketplace. It is the one document that ensures that every dollar spent on your efforts reinforces the corporate objectives, identity, image and Corporate Branding.
-- Scott White is President of Brand Identity Guru a leading Corporate Branding consulting and market research firm located in Boston, Massachusetts. Brand Identity Guru specializes in creating corporate and product brands that increase sales, market share, customer loyalty, and brand valuation. This Article may be freely copied as long as it is not modified and this resource box accompanies the article, together with working hyperlinks. Source:

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Benefits Associated With A Business Coach In Developing Great Small Business Marketing Outcomes

More than 85% of small companies lack a business strategy plan (strategic plan). By working with out a strategic system, a lot of small business owners are passing up on a strong method to assist establish and reach their goals. Many small businesses imagine that only large organizations need strategic ideas, but the reality is that small businesses can easily reap remarkable returns through creating a proper plan.

A strategic program is actually like a roadmap to your corporation. It has to recognize where you stand as well as whatever you are a symbol of, exactly where you are heading, how to calculate progress as well as calculate when you should get there, as well as precisely what tools are readily available for the trip. The program allows this company keep focus, recognize improvement as well as consider remedial action when needed.

Though every business may have a distinctive proper plan, the components of the system are amazingly similar overall. Typical factors as well as their reason are highlighted below:

Vision, Objective, and Responsibilities: what exactly do you represent, precisely what are your higher level targets, and to precisely what are you devoted?
Executive Synopsis: a simple synopsis of the document
Company Qualifications, Solutions, and Products and services: what does the corporation do to produce benefit to its clientele?
Marketing Strategy: how can the corporation attract new business, keep current clients, how much is allocated for marketing, and just how is accomplishment calculated?
Operational System: how will this company accomplish procedures?
Organizational Structure: how is the corporation arranged as well as exactly what are the jobs and also duties to recognize accountability?
Financial Statement: exactly what is the long-term fiscal projection?
Strategies: just what is the corporation planning to do to achieve its objectives?
Challenges and Solutions: exactly what road blocks are anticipated and exactly what alternatives are identified ahead of time?
Budgets: exactly how much shall be assigned to each and every functional discipline?

Making the effort to put a organizing program together necessitates considering through just what the business targets are, just how they are going to be reached, the part persons will play, etc. The proper prepare is definitely also a "living" document. It is of nominal benefit if it is put on shelves and only referenced every 3 months. It becomes an element of the operation of the business and is kept up to date and also introduced often. It could and must be used at meetings to assess improvement also to assist the corporation's workforce stay focused on the actual organizing goals and advancement towards those desired goals.

A strategic approach can even be a good device to interact with employees, emphasis productivity, and lower turn over. We reside in another economic and workplace atmosphere compared to a few decades ago. Eliminated are the job-for-life and benefits into retirement living agreements which were once typical. Because of the actual disturbance now inherent in the small business economic climate, people feel totally free to shift employment often and without concern for loss of accrued benefits. A organizing plan enables staff to see the long-term plan for the small enterprise and helps create buy-in into the future that they helped define. Lowered turn over and worker buy-in are beneficial to any small business.

-- Lots of many small business owners assume that simply massive organizations require ideal blueprints, nevertheless the truth is that small enterprises can enjoy enormous rewards simply by creating a proper plan.

A proper system is actually just like a map to your firm. It needs to recognize where you are and what you stand for, where you are generally going, how to calculate improvement as well as approximate when you will get there, as well as exactly what resources are available for Source:

Friday, May 31, 2013

Understanding The Language Of Fnance For Non Financial Managers

This article will take you through the maize of financial jargons and show you how income is calculated by finance experts to help you better understand your financial statements. This is a resource for non financial managers. I start of with very simple questions. What is income? How is it calculated? Very often, non financial managers and experts make the mistake of calculating income as the amount of cash received, totally oblivious to credit sales. This is not correct because strictly speaking income is related to services or products that are delivered and accepted by customers without any dispute in return for a fee. As long as the services or products have been delivered in line with the requirements agreed between the two parties and the customer accepts the goods and services thereby accepting liability to make payment immediately or sometime in the near future, income has materialise. So the key to determining what is income can be summed up as delivery of goods and services by the supplying organisation and acceptance by the buying organisation. When these two activities have occurred, cash need not be paid by the buying organisation or individual to determine income. Cash may be paid immediately or not as the case may be where the supplying organisation offers credit for 30 days (shorter or longer). Another important point to note is when the activity takes place. This determines the period the income arise. In short, if the activity takes place in 2011 and buyer make payment the following year, the income is accounted for in 2011 not the date the cash was received in relation to the transaction. Use this as a generic approach to guide you and you will always get it right.

It is important to note that what constitutes income for an organisation is very much dependent on the nature of the business. For commercial profit making organisations, income will be the sale value of services or products in money's worth. For public sector or voluntary organisations (such as charities), income will mainly be the sum total of fees, grants and voluntary donations received during the year as well as the value of any services or products sold in money's worth. In the case of the governmental accounts, income will be mainly derived from revenue collected through tax assessments and other levies paid by individuals and businesses.

The size of an organisation's income is dependent on a number of factors:

Commercial profit making businesses

- The size of the market the business operates (i.e. the number of people and/or businesses who need the products or services of the organisation and have the means to pay for them).

- The size of the business clients or customer base in relation to the overall market size - as defined in the previous point. This represents the demand for the business' services or products.

- The price customers are charged for products or services. It is important to note that the price customers are charged will be influenced by the costs of producing the products, the business' profit margin policy (i.e. how much profit is required), the quality of the products relative to products from competitors and the intensity of competition in the market.

Profit margin is simply the difference between the selling price and the cost of producing the goods or services sold.

Non commercial not for profit businesses

- The range and level of services provided
- The importance of the organisation's services or products as perceived by governmental bodies and other funders.
- The financial resources of funders/ governmental bodies giving grants, relative to the demands on their funds.
- In the case of services or products being sold in return for money consideration, the amount customers are willing and able to pay, the number of customers and any regulatory restrictions placed on the organization.

The government
- The amount of revenue generated from taxation and other levies imposed on individuals and businesses.
The amount generated will depend on the tax rates, size of business profits and individual earnings/profits, government economic policies, as well as the number of taxes and efficacy of the tax system.

Having a good understanding of the relationships between the factors that determine the size of a business income goes a long way in helping users of financial statements to analyse the financial performance of the business.

Let us now look at a few examples to strengthen our understanding of income determination for the purpose of the financial statement.

Example 1- Illustrates how a private restaurant will determine its income

A restaurant provides a range of meals to customers. Customers can either buy their meals and eat in the restaurant or take their meals home. The restaurant charges a fixed price for eating in or take away meals. During the course of the year, the restaurant sells 200,000 meals at an average price of ?10 per meal. Assuming all meals were sold on a cash basis (i.e. no credit was given to any customer), the income of the restaurant is simply:

No of meals sold multiply by the average price per meal.
This is 10 x 200,000 = 2,000,000

Let us look at another example involving credit and cash sales

Example 2

Suppose the restaurant in example 1 sold 100,000 in cash and the remainder 100,000 on credit at an average price of 10 per meal. Suppose its accounting year is 1st January to 31st December. At the end of the financial year (i.e. 31st December), although the restaurant sold all 200,000 meals, only 100,000 meals were paid for fully. 100,000 meals valuing 100,000 still remains unpaid.

The total income of the restaurant is still the total meals sold (200,000) multiply by the average selling price of ?10 per meal.

Notice nothing has changed as far as the total income calculation is concerned

Looking at both examples, the total income is not restricted to services or products that customers actually paid for. The total income is the value of the services or products sold during the financial year for which the financial statement is prepared. This is an area that sometimes confuses non-financial experts, as they sometimes feel the income should be restricted to the cash received for services provided during the year. This is not the case when preparing the profit and loss accounts or income and expenditure accounts.

In preparing financial statements, accountants are guided by a principle known as the accrual principle. There is no need to be confused or worried about this term.
It simply means that the value of all services or products provided to customers should be accounted for in the financial year they occur. Similarly, the value of all services or products received from suppliers must be accounted for in the financial year they occur regardless of whether the business has paid for them or not.

Let us now turn our attention to the non-commercial /not for profit businesses. We have already seen that the income of this type of business can vary considerably. Income sources can include grants, donations from the public, legacy from supporters, fundraising income, and sale of second hand products or gifts.
The nature of the main income source tends to be voluntary. As a result the amounts pledged cannot be demanded if not paid. For instance, if a supporter pledges 5,000 and fails to pay the pledge, the organisation cannot demand the payment as in the case of a commercial business that provides services in return for cash consideration. For that reason, income is normally limited to actual cash received during the course of the year except where there is a contractual agreement, with a governmental body or a reputable organisation, to provide services in return for grants. In such cases, the grant donors will put in place systems of accountability that will ensure that the voluntary organisation provides the level and quality of services it expects for the market concerned. Where such an arrangement exists, then income will be determined on an accrual basis. This implies, the value of the grants for the contracted services delivered during the year will be quantified and recorded as income irrespective of whether the grants have been paid or not.

I do hope this article has helped you understand how income is calculated and how to interpret income in financial statements.Attending training courses such as Finance For Non Financial Managers delivered by organisations like ours can help you quickly learn the tools of the game and apply the skills correctly within your organisation. To find out more about how we can assist you, visit us at

Author: Sheila Elliott FCCA, MBA- Founder of BSS Management Consultancy and author of My Business Is My Business.



Transformational Leadership Theory - The 4 Key Components in Leading Change & Managing Change

Transformational leadership theory is all about leadership that creates positive change in the followers whereby they take care of each other's interests and act in the interests of the group as a whole. James MacGregor Burns first brought the concept of transformational leadership to prominence in his extensive research into leadership.
"Essentially the leader's task is consciousness-raising on a wide plane. The leader's fundamental act is to induce people to be aware or conscious of what they feel - to feel their true needs so strongly, to define their values so meaningfully, that they can be moved to purposeful action."
In this leadership style, the leader enhances the motivation, moral and performance of his follower group. So according to MacGregor - transformational leadership is all about values and meaning, and a purpose that transcends short-term goals and focuses on higher order needs.
At times of organisational change, and big step change, people do feel insecure, anxious and low in energy - so in these situations and especially in these difficult times, enthusiasm and energy are infectious and inspiring.
And yet so many organisational changes fail because leaders pay attention to the changes they are facing instead of the transitions people must make to accommodate them.
In my view it is the responsibility of the director leading the change to supply an infusion of positive energy.
The transformational approach also depends on winning the trust of people - which is made possible by the unconscious assumption that they too will be changed or transformed in some way by following the leader.
The transformational approach also depends on winning the trust of people - which is made possible by the unconscious assumption that they too will be changed or transformed in some way by following the leader.
This is often seen in military commanders and wartime political leaders. An example of this would be the way in which Lady Thatcher - as Prime Minister of the UK Government during the Falklands War in 1982 - was able to engender an enhanced feeling of British national identity amongst the UK population.
Sounds like this leadership style is ideally suited to change management, doesn't it? However - this approach requires absolute integrity and personal behaviour that is consistent and resonant with your vision and message.
I can recall a ridiculous situation, at one UK company I was involved with, where the directors were attempting to effect a culture change of greater inter-departmental trust and communication yet still retained a separate directors dining room and specially allocated car parking places closest to the office front door!
OK here's the important bit - how NOT to apply transformational leadership theory to change management
- Be preoccupied with power, position, politics and perks
- Stay focused on the short-term
- Be hard data oriented
- Focus on tactical issues
- Work within existing structures and systems
- Concentrate on getting the job done
- Focus processes and activities that guarantee short-term profits
Doesn't all this just sound like a description of a typical good project manager with a task driven mentality?
And hey, I have nothing against this style of leadership and management. There is a time and place for the Attila the Hun school of leadership. I have done it many times myself and very effectively - and with no regrets.
But, this leadership style is not enough in a change management situation and particularly in the current climate.
The four components of the transformational leadership style are:
(1) Charisma or idealised influence - the degree to which the leader behaves in admirable ways and displays convictions and takes stands that cause followers to identify with the leader who has a clear set of values and acts as a role model for the followers.
(2) Inspirational motivation - the degree to which the leader articulates a vision that is appeals to and inspires the followers with optimism about future goals, and offers meaning for the current tasks in hand.
(3) Intellectual stimulation - the degree to which the leader challenges assumptions, stimulates and encourages creativity in the followers - by providing a framework for followers to see how they connect [to the leader, the organisation, each other, and the goal] they can creatively overcome any obstacles in the way of the mission.
(4) Personal and individual attention - the degree to which the leader attends to each individual follower's needs and acts as a mentor or coach and gives respect to and appreciation of the individual's contribution to the team. This fulfills and enhances each individual team members' need for self-fulfillment, and self-worth - and in so doing inspires followers to further achievement and growth.
Transformational leadership applied in a change management context, is ideally suited to the holistic and wide view perspective of a programme based approach to change management and as such is key element of successful strategies for managing change.
And, to ensure that you ARE employing successful strategies for managing change - that are appropriate to your organisation - you need to know how to apply: (a) these transformational leadership skills, AND (b) how to apply the supporting programme management based processes - to ensure that you avoid the catastrophic 70% failure rate of ALL business change initiatives.
For more on this: " Transformational leadership theory "
I invite you to take advantage of this FREE download: Starting the Change Process "
Find out the 3 main reasons for the 70% failure rate of all step change initiatives and how to avoid it. This FREE 29 page document offers a brief introduction to some of the key themes and key points that you need to consider in starting the change process.
Stephen Warrilow, based in Bristol, works with companies across the UK providing specialist support to directors delivery significant change initiatives. Stephen has 25 years cross sector experience with 100+ companies in mid range corporate, larger SME and corporate environments.
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Friday, May 17, 2013

Advantages and Disadvantages: Continuous Ink Supply System

Before, printing solutions can cost you thousands of cash, especially if it's bulk printing we're discussing. But with the advent in the continuous ink supply system out there today, printing becomes cheaper and much more accessible for all people. This printing system truly attracts to budget consumers given it guarantees to print more at this type of low-cost price.

There are certain circumstances to which continuous ink supply system was basically thoroughly involved with , which then comprises continuous flow system , automatic ink refill system , bulk feed ink system , and off-axis ink delivery system . However all these terms indicate to a certain thing: the printer device is redefined to make certain it does produce high volume of liquid ink to the small ink printhead , in this way providing method for an unlimited, efficient printing alternative . With regards to this type of printing system, you don't have to change cartridge for refilling. The ink source in a common printer that uses a continuous flow system is placed outside the printing device: a set of outboard printing bottles that attaches plastic tubes to the ink printhead .

When you plan to think about continuous ink supply system for your printer you probably may also measure the advantages and drawbacks for this printing system, and determine if the efficient far counteract the flaws in your case. To guide you to think about this, the following below provides you with a concept on how the continuous ink flow system is being noticed these days for as long as advantages and disadvantages are concerned.

Continuous Ink Supply System: Advantages

• This printing system is low-cost and very budget friendly. It would make printing considerably available to every users, both student and professional. Anybody can produce a lot of documents as it can for half a value of a typical tank-on printhead designs.
• This printing system works with large quantities printing. If you happen to own a business that offers printing solutions then this printing system is efficient and affordable for your usual operational needs. If you need to obtain the printed documents eventually you probably may like to consider this.
• This printing system is reliable. A printer with a continuous ink supply system will produce documents without throwing away your ink supply, with all your documents assured really good printing.
• Ease of usage in ink refill. You just need to place the ink on the printing ink containers outside the printer if the printer is running out of ink - there will be unnecessary to place in the ink on ink cartridges.


• If you set up this printing system on your printer then simply the product and service assurance that is included with the purchase of the printer is instantly said to be void.

• In the near future, your printhead could get defective particularly if you made use of low-quality kind of ink.
The continuous ink supply system can only function for certain varieties of printers. Several of the printers that are suitable to this specific printing system are produced by major products like Canon, HP and Epson. Majority of the printers manufactured by these brands usually come packed with printing cartridges and tank-on printhead designs - either of which is modified in case the printer user will choose to go with continuous ink flow system.
-- Endless Ink has Continuous Ink Supply System or CISS that are compatible with Brother, Canon, Epson and HP inkjet printers.
Continuous Ink Supply System(CISS) Specialist's. NEVER BUY ANOTHER INK CARTRIDGE! We have clients ranging from photographers, professional printing companies, to offices and homes. Visit us at for more info. Source:

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Importance Of Financial Literacy In Our Life

What is the relevance of  Financial Literacy in our life? What is it all about? These two questions  are probably the top questions that need to be answered to realize the pressing needs to understand and educate the people about financial literacy. The needs to educate the people how to manage their finances and how their money works.

Some few International Findings taken from

An international OECD study was published in late 2005 analysing financial literacy surveys in OECD countries. A selection of findings[10] included:
  • In Australia, 67 per cent of respondents indicated that they understood the concept of compound interest, yet when they were asked to solve a problem using the concept only 28 per cent had a good level of understanding.
  • A British survey found that consumers do not actively seek out financial information. The information they do receive is acquired by chance, for example, by picking up a pamphlet at a bank or having a chance talk with a bank employee.
  • A Canadian survey found that respondents considered choosing the right investments to be more stressful than going to the dentist.
  • A survey of Korean high-school students showed that they had failing scores - that is, they answered fewer than 60 per cent of the questions correctly - on tests designed to measure their ability to choose and manage a credit card, their knowledge about saving and investing for retirement, and their awareness of risk and the importance of insuring against it.
  • A survey in the US found that four out of ten American workers are not saving for retirement.
Here are some few questions to test you financial literacy:

 Did you know that April is Financial Literacy Month? With taxes fresh on your mind and spring cleaning in the air, it’s as good a time as any to brush up on your financial literacy. After all, as we’re required to make more and more financial decisions, financial literacy is becoming almost as important as being able to read and write....M O R E

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Tips for Developing Applications for Your Business

Web applications are very useful for any business. Whether you are a large enterprise or small company, the advantages of creating applications to automate work for you outweigh the cost of creating them. You can create it to optimize your work, distribute communications better or even be a product that you sell. Needless to say, there are so many things that you can do with the right idea and the right programmers.

The following are some practical tips that can help you in development phase of your application project. They are simple reminders that can keep your grounded on your project and on-track.

Visualize your Process Flow

According to experts from R&G Technologies, one should never start a project without a working model and flowchart of how you want it to work. If you want to be able to create a program that is functional, make sure that you know where you want to start and what output you want to get. While there are many things that happen along the way, knowing where you are supposed to start and knowing the outcome will keep you focused toward completion.

Simplify the Steps

Make sure that you clarify the phases of your application's development. Chokepoints happen when the steps are not clearly defined in your work. Specify what needs to be done, who needs to do it, and when it is due. Before you even step forward toward designing, make sure that this working framework is hashed out.

Work With the Budget

An application's success largely depends on two things: time and money. If you do not have enough of either, there is a chance that your project will fail. It is critical that you work with your budget.Make sure that you have plenty of funds for all the aspects needed in the project. It is important that you also have an emergency fund available. Like extra time, extra money will allow you to account for things that you did not expect.

Create Your Own

While modeling is an important aspect of development, make sure that you are not caught in the trap of copying other people's work. Innovate, think out of the box and explore other options. Don't be limited by what is already available. While it may take a bit of time, it may prove to be your projects biggest selling point.

Document Changes

The strength of a program is often found in its documentation. It is, in some sense, what separates the ‘men from the boys'. A program is often in flux in development. The best way to maker sure that you are able to manage this dynamism is proper documentation. It is critical that this is enforced properly even in the thick of the development. Make it a habit to check the logs of the programmers. It is what will ensure whether your project is doing what you planned it to do.


Support is often an afterthought. Nevertheless, it is what makes great programs what they are. If you are planning to develop a program, make sure that you have the manpower to support it even after its launch date. Consider it the human aspect that ties in everything together.
-- Are you planning to create new applications for your company? Don't where to start? Learn how to do it right with R&G Technologies.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Free Educational Resources for The Small Business Owner

I love free stuff. Who doesn't I also love learning and gaining wisdom on a wide variety of topics. So I have compiled a list of awesomely amazing free learning resources and educational programs available to business professionals and entrepreneurs. I am not paid or affiliated with any of these companies, but I do use their services regularly. offers an amazing array of free college textbooks, business books, and travel guides. All books are written exclusively for Business topics range from accounting and finance to time management planning, IT, and marketing. You will also be able to find textbooks for varied areas of study including calculus, engineering, earth science, and statistics. My favorite part of is their wide selection of books on MS Office programs. Guides for the 2003, 2007 and 2010 versions of MS Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Access, Visio, Outlook, and Publisher are all available for download on the website. An added bonus, allows users to download multiple books at the same time using a zip file.
National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers (NACPB)
The NACPB is an organization composed of accounting and bookkeeping professionals. This organization is an excellent tool for accounting professionals or business owners and entrepreneurs who are responsible for maintaining their own financial financial records. Although a majority of free training and educational materials are available to members only, there are other valuable training opportunities available to nonmembers as well. The following is a listing of current lessons that are free to both members and nonmembers of the organization:
  • How to Build a Highly Profitable Bookkeeping Business
  • Accounting: The Language of Business
  • Tax: Introduction to Federal Taxation and Understanding Federal Tax law
  • The Need for Payroll and Personnel Records
  • Excel: Getting Started
NACPB also provides free accounting and QuickBooks competency tests, which can be reached through the NACPB website at allows people to enjoy free limitless reading of electronic books through their website. Free book downloads are limited to 5 ebooks per month for members with free accounts. Users can pay for more or unlimited downloads. The site offers fiction and nonfiction reading choices, plus academic articles and textbooks. Books can be downloaded in several different formats, including Mobi, PDF, ePub, and HTML. Writers can also submit their ebooks to be featured on the site. For a limited time only, will promote a writer's ebook for free.
Project Gutenberg
Project Gutenberg is the largest single collection of free eBooks, with over 40,000 ebooks available to read online or download for free. Project Gutenberg carries only high quality books that have been digitized and proofread by their own volunteers and staff. Most of the books available on the site are older literary works. A majority of the classics are available on the site for free. website and blog is run by CPA and QuickBooks expert, Scott Gregory. This site offers free tutorials on QuickBooks that are available for download. The site currently offers 14 free tutorial guides on topics ranging from remote access options to new features in QuickBooks 2012 edition. allows users to take free college level courses online. Videos of select free courses are available for viewing online. After watching the videos, students can take a free quiz to access their knowledge and understanding. The great benefit of using is that their classes prepare students for the CLEP exam. CLEP, which stands for College-Level Examination Program, was designed for independent learners and anyone can take the exam. Each exam is $77 and will earn 3-6 college credit hours.
The following are a few of the courses available through
  • Biology 101: Intro to Biology
  • Business 101: Principles of Management
  • Business 102: Principles of Marketing
  • Chemistry 101: General Chemistry
  • Economics 102: Macroeconomics
The list above is only a small sampling of the free educational resources available on the Internet. With a good Google search one will find an array of training tutorials and eBooks, many of which are free of charge. Many businesses and organizations offer these free benefits as a marketing tool or membership incentive. Whether you are a college student or business professional, I urge all to take advantage of the free knowledge that is available in this age of information.
Raquel Delemos is a certified bookkeeper and administrative consultant from Houston, TX. Raquel is the founder of Paramount Virtual Office Solutions and is also and Independent Sales Rep. for Avon Cosmetics. If you would like to contact her, please email

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