Improved Business

Today computers affect every part of our lives. We use them in our homes, they run parts in our cars and we couldn’t operate in the workplace without them. Business software has been developed specifically for all industries and makes business functions so much easier. Undeniably computers have improved business.

Creation of new jobs

With the development of new computer technology new jobs have been created. As well as people employed to develop this technology there have also been jobs created to manage these programs. Many companies have a whole department dedicated to Information Technology. The flow on effect of the development of computers has created many jobs, including creating jobs for teachers who have to train people to use the systems.

Communication and customer relations

Communication has improved between businesses, between businesses and clients, and also suppliers. An email can be sent and received instantly, and important documents that would have been posted or couriered can now be attached to an email. Businesses can also communicate instantly with other parties overseas, therefore they can expand the reach of their business much further than just their local area. Customers are able to reach companies a lot easier as well which helps improve customer relations. Call centres are computerised making it faster for customers to solve any problems and often it is easier to get the required information off the company website.

Improved operations

A business can operate more efficiently with the help of computers. Computers can store all their business data and customer information, manage inventory and sales records, and all information stored is easy to retrieve. Computers also reduce the amount of space a business needs to store their files. Business and financial records need to be kept and the old system was filing these hard copy documents in rows of filing cabinets, which took up an enormous amount of space. Hard copies are still kept but a lot of information can be stored on computer alone. A business’ accounting procedures are also handled using computers and it has greatly simplified the process. Accountants are able to keep much better records and with financial software programs the task is easier and faster.

Marketing and sales

Businesses are able to advertise online by having their own website and using other methods such as social networking. This type of advertising can reach a much wider audience. Customers can also purchase goods online, which is great for businesses as they can expand their clientele to reach an international market. Computers have made shopping so much easier, particularly for those who have trouble getting out of the house, or those who live in remote areas. With online shopping customers can access brands that come from all over the world, and then the goods are delivered to their door.

Posted on

Business Cards Produce High ROI

Magnet business cards are a smart branding idea. When it comes to the value for the money invested in promotional marketing campaigns, making a positive impression is only thing that counts. With this objective in mind, cheap magnet business cards are one of the best marketing tools for any service type business. Unique and attractive full color custom printed magnet cards are a powerful low- cost give-away. The fact that they are seen by your customers every time they go to the refrigerator or other metal surface like a file cabinet makes them act as permanent mini-billboards. Used this way they promote your business, services and products daily. The best part of this cheap marketing promotion is it’s simple to do, free and easy to distribute. 500 magnet business cards should cost less than two cents each at some online printing services.

Promotional marketing is essential to keep your brand ahead of your competition. Giving away your business card is an expected marketing strategy, but converting your card into a magnet is taking it to the next level. Magnet business card keeps your business in the minds of consumers when they need your product or service. When that time comes, they will know exactly how to contact you since refrigerator magnets serves as a constant reminder of your business. When placed on a fridge, friends, family and acquaintances also notice these cards expanding their influence.

Magnet cards are great for all service businesses. These cards are usually offered in the shape of typical standard 2″ X 3.5″ business cards; however, they also are available in round, oval and larger postcard sizes to provide more important information when it’s needed. The cards are custom printed on 17 point magnetic stock. A UV coating is added to the printed side so they will stick around for a long time. Be sure to add all your contact information and brand identity so that they can serve as a promotional tool that can be attached to a place that offers maximum audience. These cards are excellent for auto repairs, doctors, dry cleaners, retail business, pharmacies, take-out food, plumbers, handy-man and many other service businesses.

To get the best results using these magnet cards, you need to make them attractive so that people would like to stick them on their refrigerators, office cabinets and other metal surfaces. You should use your logo and an appropriate photo or illustration. A unique and eye-catching design will make the information present on your card stand out. Be sure to include strong call for action, like a discount or other promotion that will drive traffic.

Magnetic business cards are given out in the same manner as regular business cards and they are great for save the date reminders and promotions. An eye-catching magnet can serve as a constant reminder of your business as well as an excellent communication tool for information that needs to be retained quickly. This form of advertisement is placed within the heart of your customer’s home, thus it promoting your product or service.

The best part of this cheap marketing promotion is it’s simple to do, free and easy to distribute. 500 magnet business cards should cost less than two cents each at some online printing services. The more you order, the cheaper the unit price. If you’re a new start-up or an established business, you can afford this tried and true method of attracting more sales.

Posted on

Rules to Setting Business Goals and Objectives

We all know that nothing runs without a plan, and a plan cannot run without having its objectives set.

That applies to any kind of plan, whether we’re talking business or personal finances, university degrees or NGO programs, website promotion or weight loss.

Setting objectives and milestones is of crucial importance for any planning activity and is the core of its success, or failure.
Knowing how to set objectives is not exactly rocket science in terms of complexity, but any strategist should know the basic rules of how to formulate and propose objectives. We will see in this article why objectives play such a major role within a company’s planning and strategic activities, how they influence all business processes, and we will review some guidelines of setting objectives.

The Importance of Setting Objectives

One might wonder why we need to establish objectives in the first place, why not let the company or a specific activity just run smoothly into the future and see where it gets. That would be the case only if we really do not care whether the activity in discussion will be successful or not: but then, to use a popular saying, “if something deserves to be performed, then it deserves to be performed well”. In other words, if we don’t care for the results, we should not proceed with the action at all.

Setting objectives before taking any action is the only right thing to do, for several reasons:

– it gives a target to aim to, therefore all actions and efforts will be focused on attaining the objective instead of being inefficiently used;

– gives participants a sense of direction, a glimpse of where they’re going to;

– motivates the leaders and their teams, since it is quite the custom of establishing some sort of reward once the team successfully completed a project;

– offers the support in evaluating the success of an action or project.

The 5 Rules of Setting Objectives: Be SMART!

I am sure most managers and leaders know what SMART stands for, well, at least when it comes of establishing objectives. However, I have seen some of them who cannot fully explain the five characteristics of a good-established objective – things are somehow blurry and confused in their minds. Since they can’t explain in details what SMART objectives really are, it is highly doubtful that they will always be able to formulate such objectives.

It is still unclear from where the confusion comes: perhaps there are too many sources of information, each of them with a slightly different approach upon what a SMART objective really is; or perhaps most people only briefly “heard” about it and they never get to reach the substance behind the packaging.

Either way, let us try to uncover the meaning of the SMART acronym and see how we can formulate efficient objectives.
SMART illustrates the 5 characteristics of an efficient objective; it stands for Specific – Measurable – Attainable – Relevant – Timely.

1. Be SPECIFIC!

When it comes of business planning, “specific” illustrates a situation that is easily identified and understood. It is usually linked to some mathematical determinant that imprints a specific character to a given action: most common determinants are numbers, ratios and fractions, percentages, frequencies. In this case, being “specific” means being “precise”.

Example: when you tell your team “I need this report in several copies”, you did not provide the team with a specific instruction. It is unclear what the determinant “several” means: for some it can be three, for some can be a hundred. A much better instruction would sound like “I need this report in 5 copies” – your team will know exactly what you expect and will have less chances to fail in delivering the desired result.

2. Be MEASURABLE!

When we say that an objective, a goal, must be measurable, we mean there is a stringent need to have the possibility to measure, to track the action(s) associated with the given objective.

We must set up a distinct system or establish clear procedures of how the actions will be monitored, measured and recorded. If an objective and the actions pertaining to it cannot be quantified, it is most likely that the objective is wrongly formulated and we should reconsider it.

Example: “our business must grow” is an obscure, non-measurable objective. What exactly should we measure in order to find out if the objective was met? But if we change it to “our business must grow in sales volume with 20%”, we’ve got one measurable objective: the measure being the percentage sales rise from present moment to the given moment in the future. We can calculate this very easy, based on the recorded sales figures.

3. Be ATTAINABLE!

Some use the term “achievable” instead of “attainable”, which you will see it is merely a synonym and we should not get stuck in analyzing which one is correct. Both are.

It is understood that each leader will want his company / unit to give outstanding performances; this is the spirit of competition and such thinking is much needed. However, when setting objectives, one should deeply analyze first the factors determining the success or failure of these objectives. Think of your team, of your capacities, of motivation: are they sufficient in order for the objectives to be met? Do you have the means and capabilities to achieve them?

Think it through and be honest and realistic to yourself: are you really capable of attaining the goals you’ve set or are you most likely headed to disappointment? Always set objectives that have a fair chance to be met: of course, they don’t need to be “easily” attained, you’re entitled to set difficult ones as long as they’re realistic and not futile.

Example: you own a newborn movers company and you set the objective of “becoming no. 1 movers within the state”. The problem is you only have 3 trucks available, while all your competitors have 10 and up. Your goal is not attainable; try instead a more realistic one, such as “reaching the Top 5 fastest growing movers company in the state”.

4. Be RELEVANT!

This notion is a little more difficult to be perceived in its full meaning; therefore we will start explaining it by using an example in the first place.

Imagine yourself going to the IT department and telling them they need to increase the profit to revenue ratio by 5%. They will probably look at you in astonishment and mumble something undistinguished about managers and the way they mess up with people’s minds.

Can you tell what is wrong with the objective above? Of course! The IT department has no idea what you were talking about and there’s nothing they can do about it – their job is to develop and maintain your computerized infrastructure, not to understand your economic speech. What you can do it setting an objective that the IT department can have an impact upon, and which will eventually lead to the increase you wanted in the first place. What about asking them to reduce expenditures for hardware and software by 10% monthly and be more cautious with the consumables within their department by not exceeding the allocated budget? They will surely understand what they need to do because the objective is relevant for their group.

Therefore, the quality of an objective to be “relevant” refers to setting appropriate objectives for a given individual or team: you need to think if they can truly do something about it or is it irrelevant for the job they perform.

5. Be TIMELY!

No much to discuss about this aspect, since it is probably the easiest to be understood and applied.

Any usable and performable objective must have a clear timeframe of when it should start and/or when it should end. Without having a timeframe specified, it is practically impossible to say if the objective is met or not.

Posted on

Business Opportunity

What is dry ice blasting? Dry ice blasting is a form of abrasive blasting industrial cleaning that uses a solid form of carbon dioxide known as dry ice. Pellets or ice is shot through pressurized air stream of either one hose or two hose machines.

Which System is Best? Most systems today are the single hose technology. Technology using the single hose was created by the Cold Jet company in 1986. One advantage of the single hose system is that it avoids the possible dangers of a pressurized hopper by the use of a quick cycle airlock. Another advantage of the single hose system is that it has more power and you can use a longer hose.

Making Massive Money! There are many ways to make money cleaning with Dry Ice. Many people prefer Dry Ice Blasting for paint removal, because it is less harsh than sand blasting. Another great business opportunity is to clean food processing equipment. Because it can decontaminate surfaces that could contain Salmonella and E. coli. Dry Ice can clean without residue so the Environmental Protection Agency prefers it to many kinds of solvent based cleaners. The Aerospace industry also uses Dry Ice Blasting to sensitive equipment like clean semiconductors. Manufacturers are also a great business opportunity because cleaning with cold can be used for maintaining their equipment and can drastically reduce their down time.

The Freeze Jet is just one of several different types of Dry Ice Blasting equipment. For around $3,000 you can usually purchase a Dry Ice Blasting machine.

What about Safety? How safe is this type of industrial cleaning? Cleaning with cold (normal pressure is -78 C(-108 F) can be toxic if the concentration is over 1%. Asphyxia can be caused because of oxygen removal so Dry Ice must be used in a well ventilated area.

Safety Equipment: Typical safety equipment will include a positive pressure blast hood or helmet. Air hoses are attached to a grade D pressurized air supply, which is mandated by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Also using ear plugs for hearing protection is part of the usual safety equipment. Body protection usually includes gloves and overalls as well as a leather coat and chaps.

What fees can I charge? How much money can I make in this Industrial Cleaning business? Total typical fees can range in the $300.00 per hour range, so it can be one of the more lucrative types of industrial cleaning.

The Benefits of Dry Ice Blasting: This type of industrial Cleaning meets EPA, USDA, and FDA guidelines. Has less clean up of the waste material. Extends the life of the equipment. Cleans more thoroughly. Reduces or eliminates equipment damage. Provides a safer cleaning environment. Is Non-polluting and environmental friendly. Can destroy and eliminate bacterial and fungal growth.

How can I get started? You can get started with your small business by beginning with a business plan. A business plan is a formal statement of business goals, reasons they are attainable, and plans for reaching them. It may also contain background information about the organization or team attempting to reach those goals. It should also contain a good marketing plan. Then apply for small business government grants or small business loans, so you can purchase equipment.

Having your own business can help you to end money worries. Having a business plan is essential to having a successful small business. Knowing how to market your small business for little or no money is an important key to your business success as well. Imagine how much more profit you can have when you don’t have to budget much on advertising.

Get Colossal Cash from Government Contracts. Companies interested in selling their products and services to the federal government (the United States General Services Administration) can prepare by fulfilling applicable requirements, and registering in the appropriate systems. Companies may also participate by seeking sub-contracting opportunities with current contract holders. The General Services Administration provides and contracts for Billions of dollars’ worth of products and services for federal agencies.

Posted on

Patience Is a Virtue Required When Growing A Business

Starting a business is exciting and comes with visions of freedom, money, and all the perks of owning a successful business. The excitement propels us into goal setting sessions, online research for blogs and websites platforms, and reading stories of other successful entrepreneurs that started out with the bare bones as we will. These stories tell tales of success and money out there just waiting for us if we would just believe. The reality is, yes the business is out there for the taking, but it will take a lot of hard work and patience to reach the level of freedom, perks and money that we dream and read about. So how do we manage our expectations and display patience as we grow our business?

Look Before You Leap. How do you look before leaping? A business plan! One that lays out your mission, your financial leap required, how you will market the business, future growth, etc. because if you leap before looking to see how you might land, you’ll be bouncing all over the place. Your focus will be off and you will end up trying to sell to everyone when your product or service may better serve a niche market. The business plan will also encourage you to patiently research whether there’s even a need for your offering or if you need to tweak your services for more success. It will also give you an idea of the amount of work you will need to put into starting and growing the business. Looking before leaping will save you from losing money with bad decisions and wasting time on a business that will not succeed because there’s no real groundwork.

Remember Work First, Success Later. Once you have a solid, realistic business plan to build from, make sure you examine your expectations. Most businesses are not financially successful right away. It takes time to build your mailing lists, get exposure, network, and connect via social media and you have to build relationships with people before they will consider purchasing from your business. Accept that more will be required than setting up a website, joining a networking group, or posting and tweeting our way to instant success. We have to patiently put the work into growing the business and its credibility to future customers, and the success will follow.

Work-Life Balance. Being patient as the business grows means it will be very important to practice balance. If you don’t keep yourself balanced, the excitement and work involved with growing a business will affect your family life. You can minimize the impact by setting boundaries in your business and family life. Make sure your family knows when you’ll be working on business tasks and set realistic goals for completing business tasks each day. Your business should also have dedicated office hours – for your clients and yourself so you know there is a beginning and an end to your business day. Accept that there will be times you have to spend away from the business to keep yourself balanced.

Posted on

Vehicle Testing and Inspection

All vehicles, domestic or commercial are mandated by regulations to undergo fitness testing to ensure that they conform to them; in some countries, it is a legal requirement every six months and fitness certificates are renewed after every testing.

The categories of vehicles that require testing are:

• Passenger service vehicles – cabs or taxis, buses and shuttle services
• Rental vehicles – buses, cars, vans
• Heavy vehicles – trucks, trailers, caravan homes etc.

Keeping a vehicle fit under all conditions is essential for renewal of fitness certificates without delays or the necessity to pay fines; for e.g. if the treads on the tires are fading the vehicle may be denied a fitness certificate. It is one of the important things to consider.

Fitness certificates can only be issued by agencies or organizations that are approved by the local transport agency or department. Driving a vehicle that does not meet Certificate of Fitness (CoF) needs or one that doesn’t display an updated current fitness label are illegal; in a situation like this, the vehicle can be impounded and license suspended.

A CoF inspection, which is also a safety check, covers the most important and basic areas; the fitness check is done by approved testing inspectors as per parameters set out in the inspection requirements manual; these requirements may vary from state to state, country to country etc.

Posted on

What To Look For When Searching For A New Car

Today, if you are shopping for a new vehicle, you have a lot of choices. You can actually buy a minivan for your family vacations, sports car for your mid-life crisis toy, and many more. The options are indeed endless. Thus, it becomes very hard to choose which type of car will suit you best. But experts say that choosing the best car will be a lot easier if you know what size of vehicle you are looking for. Consider researching online in order to know which ones you will take for a test drive.

Things To Consider When Looking For A New Car

Features – Plenty of automakers offer latest features on their newest models. Some will actually make your car more comfortable while others want it more attractive and safer. Depending on your budget, there are actually some features like darkness-detecting lights and heated seats that might come standard. Know though that there are instances wherein you need pay extra for anything that is above the baseline.

The Drive Train – This is also known as the power train. It is the term used to describe the system of components that will made a vehicle go. This will include the engine, transmission, and powered axles. Most vehicles will provide you with the option to select from 2-3 different engine sizes. You must be aware that there are some cases where you have to upgrade your small engine since it is overpowered. It is a smart idea for you to know how each engine option fares on the road prior to making a choice. As for the transmission, you actually have 2 options. Most new cars come with an automatic transmission which engages the clutch and will shift gears on its own. Another option is the semi-automatic mode where you can shift gears on your own while using an automated clutch. On the other hand, the powered axles are those that will receive power from the engine. Today, there are some different configurations of powered axles, and each will make a significant impact on how the car drives.

Reliability – This must be among your biggest concerns when buying a new car. The reliability of a vehicle will actually vary by its make, model year, and trim line; thus, it is very important for you to perform research ahead to ensure that your new ride is safe.

Safety – Over the past years, safety technology has indeed evolved. But be knowledgeable that there are some models that are still safe than others. Some of the features you must look into will include console airbags, anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, and safety alert systems.

Posted on