Thursday, May 31, 2012

Grow Your Business By Finding Your “Hidden” Organization

Have you ever wondered what enables some entrepreneurs to exponentially grow their businesses while others go flat, or worse? Their secret lies in their ability to find and lead what I call their “hidden” organization. You may think you don’t have an organization, hidden or otherwise, especially if your business consists of a “gang of one” or there are only a few employees on staff. But the fact is that even the smallest businesses have an organization, and your success or failure is determined by your ability to find it and then lead it in a way that gives you more of the results you want.

This may be a totally new concept to consider. It’s easy to think of giant corporations as having organizations. These are the “internal stakeholders” consisting of employees, departments and committees on the payroll. However, large companies are realizing that independent consultants, suppliers, outsource providers, alliance partners, customers and other “external stakeholders” also play a critical role in their organization’s ability to achieve high performance results.

Just as your business is part of your customers’ external organization, it also has external stakeholders of its own that make up your hidden organization. The better you become at recognizing and leveraging the power of these many relationships, the more likely it is that you’ll survive unexpected twists and turns in the economy, minimize problems, and take your business to the next level of growth.

Who makes up your hidden organization?

It can be challenging to identify the many stakeholders who impact your business. While some of these relationships are obvious, it’s easy to overlook and underestimate the impact of others. However, if you think of an external stakeholder as any person, group or organization that has a stake (whether they recognize it or not) in the success of your business, your organization includes, but is not limited to:

•Outsource providers (payroll services, virtual assistants, etc.)
•Advisors (attorneys, accountants, bankers, business coaches, consultants, etc.)
•Alliance partners
•Business and trade associations to which you belong
•Advisory boards

When you uncover the wide variety of support, knowledge, skills, capabilities, and resources that are available through your stakeholders, you can offer services and products in ways that you may never have considered before. For example, a specialty-clothing designer with one store location teamed up with an online distributor so that she now runs a global business, reaching customers around the world. Even competitors have found that there are a number of ways to benefit through limited collaborations. The possibilities for growth are there if you look for them.

While large companies have organizational charts that map out functions of departments and roles of employees, you can also create your own “organizational chart” to map out how external stakeholders fill essential functions and roles that are essential for conducting business. For instance, your accountant, attorney, and insurance agent are important parts of your “executive team.” Your organization also includes your customers, along with the alliance partners, outsource providers, and sub-contractors who may work with you to deliver products and services.

As you continue to identify stakeholders, be sure to update your organization chart on a regular basis. Depending upon, your own goals, customers’ objectives and needs, new technology and shifts in the economy, some stakeholders will take on increased importance while others play a less important role for a period of time.

Realigning your vision of your organization so it includes these and other external stakeholders will enable you to think about new ways to reach your customers, expand your capabilities, and discover new opportunities for increased revenue and profitability.

Leading and managing your hidden organization
Now that you’ve discovered your hidden organization, the next challenge is to lead and manage it so that you are achieving your growth objectives.

Clients often tell me that unexpected and persistent problems seem to come out of nowhere (this is what I call “strategic gridlock”). However, when we look back, it’s possible to trace the source of problems to one or more common but mistaken assumptions that we all make about our organizations, based upon our individual perceptions of reality.

As you lead and manage your hidden organization, here are three questions to ask yourself on a regular basis to begin to uncover assumptions, avoid gridlock, and grow your business:

• What is the uniqueness of each stakeholder? Just as no two people are alike; no two stakeholders are alike. Yet it’s easy to adopt an approach to dealing with others that doesn’t allow for these variations. This can lead to persistent problems, especially if their values and practices are different from yours. Understanding the uniqueness of each stakeholder will help everyone get the most out of each relationship.

• Are my stakeholders capable of doing what I want? Since external stakeholders have other priorities outside of yours, unexpected changes in direction can easily happen. Consistent communication with your external stakeholders minimizes the risk of being blindsided by these issues, and allows you to make contingency plans. It also alerts you to developments that could result in new opportunities for your growth.

• Are my stakeholders willing to do what I want? External stakeholders don’t always share your objectives or sense of urgency. The more that you understand how they perceive your objectives and what their needs are in relationship to yours, the more likely it is that you can head off conflicts, improve decision making, and negotiate solutions that represent a “win” for everyone.

To fully meet organizational challenges and lead your organization to high performance results, it’s essential to know not only who your stakeholders are, but also what issues they face and the impact those issues may have on you. When you seek out the perceptions of your stakeholders on a regular basis, you’ll be able to address any potential challenges from a position of organizational reality, not individual assumption.

Discover the power of your hidden organization

Many entrepreneurs, especially those who are used to working as “gangs of one”, overlook and underestimate the many ways that they can leverage and grow their businesses by working in collaboration with their external stakeholders. .

Once you recognize that you are the architect of your own organization, the issues of leading and managing organizations of all sizes are the same; the same organizational principles apply to mega-corporations as well as to solo entrepreneurs, because even the very smallest businesses have “hidden” organizations within them.

Harnessing the power of your hidden organization will help you to discover untapped opportunities, avoid organizational jams, and grow to new heights of success.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Has the time come for a reconditioned forklift fleet?

Every industry has its accepted truths. These are the things that everybody knows - the obvious answers. The problem is that yesterday's truths may be out of date, and things that appear to be common sense on the surface may be a lot more complicated when you look a little deeper. When the question is a potentially expensive one like the purchase and maintenance of your forklift fleet, it's a good idea to examine both possibilities. The industry is changing, and old truths should be re-examined. In addition, your options have grown, and the old easy answers may no longer be the best solutions.

<b>The single Manufacturer Fallacy</b>

Most operations that run a large fleet of forklifts select a primary new truck manufacturer (for example, Toyota or Hyster for pneumatic/cushion trucks, Crown or Raymond for electrics). It's more convenient, dealing with a single company when arranging purchase or lease agreements, but that is not the primary consideration. The big issue is maintenance.

Full service leases are supposed to cover maintenance costs up front. Ideally, they allow you to plan maintenance schedules and costs, and then forget about it for the duration of the lease. There are two problems with this pretty picture. For one thing, most full service leases do not cover repair costs on the failure of components that are out of factory warranty, or on the failure of wear items such as brakes, etc. You can never be absolutely certain what maintenance costs will be.

On the face of it, this is an additional argument for selecting a single supplier, since it means that you will only have to stock one set of parts and train your people on one machine (or at least machines from a single manufacturer). True, this will save you a little, but at what cost?

Not all forklift manufacturers are good at everything that a forklift does in your operation. There are just too many variables. Electrics are quiet, inexpensive and nonpolluting, but of limited range. In some narrow aisle warehouse applications, turning radius can become a major consideration. In extreme cases, turret trucks may be required.

To get the most efficient vehicle for every job, you would have to determine the features and characteristics required for that job, and then buy the necessary number of trucks from the manufacturer who makes the best forklift with those features and characteristics - and then repeat the process for every job in your operation. A multi-location facility could easily end up with four or five different makes of lift truck. Is this the making of a maintenance nightmare? Not necessarily.

Remember, you are still only using one brand of fork lift for a given task, and because you have selected the brand with the best performance for that function, your maintenance for that brand is likely to go down. The periodic service requirements are the same, and component failure is less likely to occur if the vehicle is better designed for that specific application.

Keeping a larger inventory of parts may cost a little more to begin with, but maintaining that inventory over time should result in no significant additional expense. As for training, it may be possible to specialize there as well. For example, instead of training two people on maintenance for a single brand, you might train each of them on one of the brands in use - for little or no additional expense.

<b>New vs. Refurbished</b>

Another accepted truth that may no longer be true is that refurbished forklift trucks, while less expensive than new ones, are less reliable and therefore not a good investment.

With the ever-increasing costs of capital equipment, refurbishing used lift trucks has finally become big business. Only a few years ago, the market for reconditioned forklifts wasn't big enough to justify the expense of setting up an assembly line to tear down, inspect and re-assemble a vehicle with enough quality control to insure reliable operation in heavy use conditions.

The term refurbished means different things to different people. Before you even consider this option, make certain that the unit has been disassembled to the bare frame, sandblasted, painted and rebuilt. Even the engines should be completely broken down, refurbished and repainted to work and look like new. Purchasing used forklifts can be risky, but buying quality refurbished ones doesn't have to be.

For years, third parties have been refurbishing trucks for small users who could not afford new units. They had to do it by themselves to insure quality, and the number of quality refurbished trucks on the market was extremely limited. That is no longer true. The market for renewed trucks has grown to the point where there are now factory reconditioned forklifts available at perhaps one third the cost of new trucks. Not only that, but they are available in quantities that should be attractive to a fleet user.

The quantities are there, and the price is certainly attractive, but what are you really getting when you buy a refurbished forklift truck? Is this where you can find yourself in a maintenance nightmare? Again, not necessarily.

Renewed vehicles have had some run time, a kind of shakedown cruise after which the weak components are replaced. The result is a more reliable unit. Obviously, a refurbished truck has less of its reliable service life left than a new one, but consider the following scenario. You purchase a refurbished unit at one third the cost of a new one. You have already skipped the first wave of high maintenance cost that occurs during the run-in phase. You maintain it regularly and retire it perhaps a year earlier than you would a new unit, thus avoiding the last stage of high maintenance as it nears the end of its useful life. You have saved considerably in terms of capital investment, and your maintenance costs may actually go down as well.

<b>Name Brands</b>

There is one last accepted truth I would like to address related to the issue of maintaining a fleet of forklift trucks - brand name versus off-brand parts. It seems obvious that an operation running a particular brand of forklifts will be safest stocking spare parts from that manufacturer, even if they do cost a little more. Fortunately, that isn't always true.

Many of my friends and customers in the manufacturing business are up in arms over China because they have become such a tough competitor in recent years. However, the same pricing that creates this frustration with China as a competitor can be helpful to forklift buyers. Factories in China that have produced parts for other name brand trucks for years are now starting to sell direct in the United States at significantly reduced prices over name brands.

Notice that these are often the same people that made the brand name parts. The parts are not less expensive because of lower quality. They are less expensive because of the distribution strategy. There is no dealer taking a percentage off the top. There is no forklift manufacturer using overpriced spare parts as a profit center in order to lower prices on new trucks and in order to lock in brand loyalty.

With these lower prices for spare parts, there is less reason to fear the possibility of higher maintenance costs with a multi-manufacturer and/or refurbished fleet of forklift trucks. More than ever before, it is possible to put together a fleet based on the only questions that should really matter: what do forklifts really do in your operation, and which forklifts - new or refurbished - can most effectively and economically do the job(s)?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

IT Project Governance And Prince2 Project Management: How To Keep Major IT Investments On The Rails

In today’s fast-changing information economy, IT project governance has emerged as one of the most vital corporate responsibilities. The relentless pressure to innovate whilst simultaneously driving down costs means that organisations are increasingly ‘betting the farm’ on the successful development and deployment of new IT systems. However, the business environment now evolves so quickly that the original assumptions on which projects were based can often become fatally undermined prior to the projects’ completion. With technology at the heart of most businesses, the ability to maintain tight executive and board control over such projects throughout their lifecycle has become a deciding factor in determining which businesses thrive and which founder. In response to this challenge, Prince2 project management has emerged as the world’s leading methodology for ensuring that IT projects stay on track and deliver real value.

No large scale or business critical project should ever be managed on a standalone basis. The need to involve and secure buy-in from functions right across the organisation means that a project governance approach is essential. While project management is the key discipline within this, project governance is broader in scope and has six interlinked objectives:
1. Ensuring real business value through project and business alignment.
2. Controlling costs through centralisation.
3. Maximising resource allocation, particularly of high value resources.
4. Risk management through portfolio balancing.
5. Uniform application of best practice.
6. Organisational coherence.

IT decisions expose an organisation to significant risks – financial, operational and competitive – so it is essential that project governance be a concern for the board as a whole, rather than any one individual. The board must insist that project risks are assessed within the organisation’s strategic planning and risk management framework and ensure that the right investment and management decisions are made, so that competitive advantage can be enhanced and measurable business value delivered.

The board’s project governance responsibilities can be summarised as follows:
•    To approve product initiation, manage the project portfolio and pull the plug on any underperforming projects.
•    To make one or more non-executive board members specifically responsible for overseeing project governance. They must have independent and informed oversight of progress on all business IT projects – including attending program (or large project) board meetings.
•    To ensure clear accountability at all levels, with detailed, rigorously tested project plans based on a critical path analysis with clearly identified critical success factors, regular milestones and ‘go/no go’ checkpoints.
•    To ensure that every project proposal contains a full business case with a fully costed estimate that can stand up to independent audit, with clearly stated assumptions that can withstand rigorous analysis.
•    To manage all IT related projects as part of a portfolio.
•    To adopt and deploy a recognised project management methodology.
•    To adopt a clearly defined risk management plan at programme and project level that reflects corporate level risk treatment requirements.
•    To institute a monitoring framework to inform the board of progress and provide an early alert of divergence or slippage in any of the critical success factors.
•    To commit funding only on a phased basis.
•    To ensure that internal audit is capable and accountable directly to the board for providing regular, timely and unambiguous reports on project progress, slippage, budget, requirements specification and quality requirements. Where there is project divergence the board should not release further funds until the cause of the divergence has been fully dealt with.

In selecting a project management methodology the organisation needs to choose an approach that is appropriate to its project objectives and development environment. By far the most popular methodology is Prince2, the successor to PRINCE ('Projects in Controlled Environments'), which was developed by the UK Office of Government Commerce. While PRINCE was originally developed for IT projects, Prince2 project management has incorporated substantial feedback and is now a generic, best-practice approach for all types of projects. Since its introduction in 1989, Prince2 project management has become widely used in both the public and private sectors and is now a de facto global standard.

Prince2 project management uses a structured methodology, which means managing a project in a logical and organized way, following clearly defined steps and well-understood roles and responsibilities. It perfectly matches the requirements of a project governance regime by delivering the following attributes to any project:
•    A controlled and organised start, middle and end
•    Regular reviews of progress against plan and against the business case • Flexible decision points
•    Automatic management control of any deviations from the plan
•    The involvement of management and stakeholders at the right time and in the right place during the project
•    Good communications channels between the project, project management, and the rest of the organisation.

The effectiveness of Prince2 project management results from its four cornerstones, which define what a successfully managed project should be:

Planned: Prince2 has a series of processes that cover all of the activities needed on a project from starting up to closing down. This process-based approach provides an easily tailored and scaleable method for the management of all types of project. Each process is defined with its key inputs and outputs together with the specific objectives to be achieved and activities to be carried out.

Controlled: Prince2 project management divides a project into manageable stages, enabling efficient control of resources and regular progress monitoring throughout. The various roles and responsibilities for managing a project are fully described and are adaptable to suit the size and complexity of the project, and the skills of the organisation.

Results-driven: Project planning using Prince2 is product-based, which means the project plans are actually focused on delivering results and are not simply about planning when the various activities on the project will be done.

Measured: Any project using Prince2 is driven by the business case, which describes the organisation’s justification, commitment and rationale for the deliverables or outcome. The business case is regularly reviewed during the project to ensure the business objectives, which often change during the lifecycle of the project, are still being met.

There are clear reasons why Prince2 project management has become the world’s leading methodology. In addition to its best practice approach for the management of all project types, around 800 people per week take Prince2 project management examinations, with all training is carried out by accredited organisations. It is widely used and popular in both public and private sectors, and can easily be tailored to all varieties of projects in many different markets and businesses. For any organization that is serious about managing its IT investment, Prince2 project management is the natural choice.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Renegade eBay Strategy - Feedback

Let's talk about feedback. We all know that feedback is an essential component of eBay, in fact it's probably a large part of why the company has been so successful. In marketing terms we might refer to feedback as social proof. I'll explain what I mean. We all make decisions based on what others do, yes we are influenced by others to an extraordinary degree.

If someone tells us that they enjoyed a great meal or watched a really good movie, chances are that we'll do the same, based on their recommendation. That's social proof.

The principle works on eBay too. When we read the feedback comments left by buyers and sellers we take note. If those comments are predominantly positive then we naturally trust the person behind that account.

So not only is feedback an essential aspect of eBay that virtually all buyers and sellers devote significant amount of time to reading, it is one that deserves more attention than you give it now.

For most sellers, leaving feedback is a few rushed words, fairly generic, and posted without much thought. The renegade seller on the other hand realizes that there is an opportunity to make more of this important aspect of eBay.

Firstly, don't leave feedback to chance. Rather than letting buyers write the first thing that comes into their heads, prompt them a little. How can you do that without seeming impolite or demanding?

Send out an e-mail around the time you expect them to have received their item, and politely ask them not to leave feedback until they are 100% satisfied. If there's something that needs to be fixed, tell them you want to do that. Let them know that you live for happy customers!

Next, guide them as to what to write. Suggest to them that your customers are delighted because of the fast shipping, friendly service, fair mailing costs, quality of items, and any other benefits you can think of. This is an NLP technique that plants the thought in their mind, so that when they come to leave you feedback, you've already told them what to mention! Is this deceiving customers? No, not if you genuinely do deliver these benefits. You are simply helping to remind them.

Another important renegade feedback strategy is to include a marketing message in the feedback YOU leave. For example, instead of the usual, "Great transaction, recommended eBayer etc etc" that most buyers and sellers default to, use the space to further promote your items.You might say, "Thanks from -- eBay's #1 Collectable Poster Store."

In the above example, notice that the feedback message points people back to a domain name, which would be either the eBay store or your own website. Also, notice that the first letter of each word is capitalized -- an effective marketing technique to make the wording stand out.

Remember, feedback comments stay on an account for a very long time, so use that precious 'real estate' wisely.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Rent To Own Homes

Are you someone who wants to own a home someday? Who does not? But what is holding you back? For most of us the answer is finance. If you have a bad credit record, it is unlikely that you will get a house loan to buy your dream house.

For most of us the only way to start living in our dream house depends on factors such as, having good credit, making a large down payment, and going through a landlord, but all that is history now with the introductions of the rent to own home facility. Now as a buyer you can lease the home of your choice for a few years before taking the big leap and finally buying the piece of real estate.

Both buyers and sellers alike can benefit from a rent to own transaction.  Nowadays it is really hard to find a buyer who has all the factors running in his or her favor, such as having good credit, or the ability to make a large down payment, but the rent to own home makes it easier for people with fewer resources to get a chance to buy their dream homes.

Buyers these days prefer to go for the rent to own homes because of certain added advantages provided by this kind of a transaction. Firstly, this type of a transaction helps the buyer get a good first hand experience regarding the house, because you know the price of the house only when you start living in it.  Minor problems that are not visible from the outside, for example leaking pipelines, paint falling off etc. become more imminent when it prospective buyers start living n the house.

Secondly, for the first time real estate investor it is always a good idea not to buy a property with cash through an outright sale, rather it will be a good idea to lease it first and then buy it.

Thirdly, people who have bad credit can buy their dream homes by this process as they can repair their credits during the lease period and build up equity. Besides getting a rent to own home is almost the same as leasing to own a car where the buyer leases the car to find out more about the car and whether it meets his requirements or not, and finally he buys the car if it meets the standards.

For the sellers the rent to own home facility brings in more customers than the outright sales. There are many homeowners who have listed their properties but there is a significant lack of prospective buyers in the cash buying market, most of the investors nowadays prefer to buy houses through their rent to own homes.

Most of the sellers can benefit from the fact that  most of the times the deal does not go through and they might end up with the entire rent amount to their discretion as the rent credit is considered non refundable. Besides this lease to own home feature allows the sellers to derive the benefits of the houses a bit more before actually selling it off to someone else.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Replace Your Lost Income with a Successful Online Business

With the economy in constant turmoil, many are experiencing a financial crunch with lost jobs or at the very least, lost income due to slow business. Fortunately, you don't have to settle for less income. There are many income opportunities online to fit your schedule, business budget, and skills. Let's explore two main ways to replace lost income with online profits.

Work from Home through Online Marketing

Marketing online and helping others promote their business is a great way to get started. Thankfully, there are companies that will help you with minimal cost. You can automate your business to sell services for you while you're away or asleep. Also, you can promote products and services to your potential customers through e-mail automatically with a follow-up system.

With this type of business, the marketing company that provides the service usually charges a one-time sign-up fee or an ongoing monthly or yearly fee to help you start and operate your business. All you do is set up your home business website, and then start promoting their services or products. The business will run on autopilot to sell and provide customer service to your new clients. Usually, this type of business operates similarly to an MLM business, but may also offer products or services for sale. Many are earning 6-figure incomes with this type of set-up, but they do work hard at promotions and marketing on a day-by-day basis as with any other type of business.

Replace Income with Your Personal or Business Skills

Think of the skills you have developed over the years. Can you type, sew, cook, write, design Web pages, or conduct research? Can you make crafts, design graphics, or offer counseling in some area? The possibilities are endless. Only you know what you love doing the most and what skills you possess. These can be turned into an amazing business earning a 6-figure income once the business starts to grow.

To start a business based on your skills, determine what you will offer, how much you will need to charge, and how you will handle customer service, shipping, and so forth. Then, create your own website to promote your products or services. Make sure your website offers plenty of useful content pertaining to your products. Also, create an e-mail newsletter (or e-zine) to follow up with your visitors. This will boost your income more than any other technique. With some services, you might also offer your talents through freelance websites to find new clients.

Promotion Tools to Replace Lost Income

Once you determine the type of online business that's right for you, it's time to promote your website. Some promotion tools can help you replace income while others may only cost you more money. Methods that are costly but might not be targeted include banner ads, pop-up ads, and classified ads. These three methods can be targeted to certain types of websites, but be sure the marketing company allows you to specify the audience you'd like to reach. Otherwise, it's a waste of advertising dollars.

Promotion methods that are affordable and effective include pay-per-click search engines, e-zine advertising, and content-based ads. These can reach your target audience without breaking your wallet because you're able to select the very audience that would be interested in your products.

Full-Time or Part-Time Income Opportunities

The Internet offers many income opportunities for either full time or part time, depending on your schedule and income needs. For part time income, it's probably best to sign on with a company that can set up a business for you. This will save you much time and energy so you can focus on promotions only during your limited hours.

Many entrepreneurs start out online as part-timers, but end up quitting their day jobs once established. You can earn a great income online too by allowing others who are already successful to lead the way!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Reselling Web Conferencing Services: How To Profit From The Coming Boom In Web & Video Conferencing

If you want to make money in an online business, then you need to find a product or service that is fresh, up-to-date and that hasn’t been beaten to death with hundreds of copy-cat affiliates. Web and video conferencing are relatively new applications, and becoming a reseller of online conferencing services could be a good way to start up or add to an already existing online business. Let’s take a look at the prospects for this type of online enterprise.

First of all, web and video conferencing is an up-and-coming field of activity. Business is becoming increasingly globalized and many companies now have staff or clients located in distant locations, sometimes in other countries or on other continents. Online meetings are being used by some of the leading enterprises, but there are many more organizations that have not even begun to take advantage of web or video conferencing.

This is a huge market waiting to be tapped, and with the increasing penetration of broadband use both in the workplace and at home, the market grows larger with each passing month.

Just as there are relatively few companies using web and video conferencing, there are comparatively few resellers or affiliate sellers of these services to compete with. If you would like to get into this business then you should do an online search for web conferencing resellers or affiliates, and choose a program that you can effectively handle.

Typically, affiliate programs for these kinds of services are easy to enter. In many cases all you have to do is sign up and get an affiliate code or url and paste it onto your website and you are in business. However, if you want to be an effective affiliate for web and video conferencing, or for that matter, any other product or service, the best way to sell it is by using it yourself and really knowing what it is all about. Only then can you truly recommend the product in a convincing way.

A step above an affiliate is to become a reseller. Usually this requires a comprehensive training in the web and video conferencing system and there may also be an entry fee attached to becoming a reseller. Whereas affiliates simply refer potential clients to the conferencing service, Resellers are responsible for signing up the clients themselves. The advantage though, is that a reseller is likely to get a higher percentage of the signup and monthly subscription fees paid to the conferencing service by his or her referred clients.

If you are successful as a reseller then you will earn a residual income for as long as the people signed-up by you subscribe to the conferencing service.

Whether you decide to become an affiliate or a reseller, the key to cashing in on the coming boom in online conferencing is to study the market, know the product thoroughly and then place it before your web visitors or mailing list audience in a compelling and convincing manner. Another key factor to success is to make a timely move, a product or service that is “new” today will be commonplace tomorrow.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Residential Telecom Audits

No business can flourish without an efficient and advanced telecommunications infrastructure in its offices and factories. All employees need a communication device to maintain their efficiency and save precious time. Obviously it means the establishment of an extensive telecom network in your offices. A big chunk of your budget has to be allocated for the successful operation and optimum utilization of telecom resources. You need to maintain a separate department to oversee the functioning of the telecom network and its finances.

This means that you can employ a team of expert auditors to keep an eye on the billing of the telephone vendors, in-house misuse or fraud in utilizing the network devices, and regular contact with the vendors with timely references to the anomalies in their billing. And in case the overcharged bills have been paid, they will have to be recovered or credited into your account.  Your in-house team needs to do a detailed planning of your telecom network and make important and timely decisions about the budgetary allocations to implement the plans. Besides auditing the billing and other financial aspects, your auditors can also use the software to automatically audit and validate the invoices.

You must also note that managing a telecom network is a very complex and confusing affair because the data comes from a variety of sources, such as contracts, invoices, vendors and customer services. The software can easily analyze this data, which is a daunting task for your residential auditors and can encroach upon their time, which can be more usefully spent on other important aspects.  The software can therefore reduce the time-consuming manual processes and increase efficiency. It can also display and track unresolved billing errors.

Despite the detailed and comprehensively programmed software that you may be using, it cannot resolve unexpected billing problems. It is here your Residential Telecom Audit Team can step in. It can ensure that your company is getting the optimum services from your telecom infrastructure and network. It should help to rein in the uncontrollable costs, besides replacing the outdated telecom devices by getting the latest ones and including the latest technologies to optimize the returns on investments. In this way your Residential Audits team can organize the entire telecom environment to promote the growth of your organization.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Restaurant Merchant Accounts

Some eatery entrepreneurs enjoy the old fashioned style of cooking and serving customers themselves, while others are experimenting with the latest technological enhancements via restaurant merchant accounts. While it is always enjoyable to dine at a restaurant where the owner or manager employs a personal touch, there are times when a customer appreciates modern conveniences like a server’s use of a pager or paying by credit card that are unavailable at many old-fashioned establishments. If you are an owner or manager who appreciates customers’ needs for fast, up-to-date service, you may want to learn more about a restaurant merchant account.

Restaurant merchant accounts help owners to provide the latest technology to their clientele. We all know of restaurants that don’t accept credit cards, and when we’re in a hurry or low on cash, we avoid such places. But other eateries, from fast food to fine dining, are increasingly choosing to implement credit card payment options, electronic check processing, and even wireless payment processing for merchants on the go who deliver food at home or to businesses and public places for special occasions. A server wearing a pager will be greatly appreciated when someone at your table chokes or a little one spills her beverage. Scenarios like these, as well as a host of others, show why it makes sense to consider an upgrade to a restaurant merchant account.

If you are unsure about the benefits of restaurant merchant accounts, you can readily find information on the Internet at a variety of Websites. Merchant accounts come in many forms and offer a range of advantages depending on your company’s specific needs or your long-term business growth plan. For example, you may want to start with a simple credit card processor on-site at your restaurant. You will get a feel for the degree to which your customers appreciate the new technology by their comments at checkout. If they appreciate the option of using credit, you will know that further upgrades may likewise be valued down the road. But if they complain about your establishment losing its old fashioned appeal, you may want to hold off on additional improvements until the clientele has time to get used to the initial changes.

Restaurant merchant accounts will provide the means of setting up a restaurant Website and accepting online credit payments for reservations, business accounts, or bulk purchases, among other things. Your Website can attract visitors from all over the world who may come to visit when in your part of town. The site can also offer local customers helpful information, such as hours and days of operation, driving directions to your location along with a map, regular and banquet menus, and special services. Your merchant account status will let them order online and confirm reservations without the need of a human voice, thus reducing staffing hours and human resource costs. If you want your restaurant to attract fast-paced customers who pay with plastic, check out the limitless possibilities that await you by browsing the available restaurant merchant accounts.

Restaurant Supply Can Help With Effective Time Management

The restaurant business is quite unlike any other.  Many people who fantasize about owning or running a restaurant have no idea what an incredibly painstaking and time consuming endeavor it can be.  Those who do take the plunge into restaurant ownership quickly learn what it means to take on multiple responsibilities.  Of course, hiring good help can make a world of difference, especially to owners who perform double duty as head chef or to those who have outside obligations (and let's face it...who doesn't?).  Still, the most important quality that successful restaurant owners share is the ability to effectively manage their time. 

One of the best resources for helping owners effectively manage their time is often the business' restaurant supply dealer.  While many view restaurant supplier companies as nothing more than a place to get commercial quality restaurant supplies, which they certainly are, the reality is that many restaurant supply companies offer so much more.  Looking at the typical "back of the house", there are three things that are necessary for producing quality food that customers will enjoy: the food itself, the kitchen staff and the appliances the food is kept in and prepared on.  Getting quality foods and finding (and keeping) a quality staff is a job unto itself.  Restaurant owners do not want to have to worry about appliances breaking down, whether it's an ice machine or an oven.  If an appliance goes down, it's not unlike when an employee doesn't show up for work.  Certainly, then, restaurant supply distributors are part of the overall equation for a successful kitchen.  But how can they help with time management?

Many restaurant supply companies can not only recommend and supply appliances, they can also help design the work flow of the kitchen area, so that everything runs as smoothly as possible.  By helping restaurant owners know where to place appliances in the correct order and proximity to each other, suppliers can make food preparation faster and much more efficient.  This, in turn, can save the restaurant owner a great deal of time.  By making a kitchen more ergonomic, restaurant owners will know that their BOH operations are set up for success, which will allow them to focus on other areas of the business.

Restricted Components Regulations Coming Into Force in Canada

In an effort to hamper the ability of terrorists to manufacture explosives, the Government of Canada has introduced a new Restricted Components Regulations under the Explosives Act.   The regulations designate the following nine explosive precursors as “restricted components”:

- ammonium nitrate in solid form at a concentration between 28 and 34% nitrogen;

- hydrogen peroxide at a concentration of at least 30%, UN numbers: 2015 and 3149;

- nitromethane, UN number: 1261;

- potassium chlorate, UN number: 1485;

- potassium perchlorate, UN number: 1489;

- sodium chlorate in solid form, UN number: 1495;

- nitric acid at a concentration of at least 68%, UN numbers: 2031 and 2032;

- potassium nitrate, UN numbers: 1486 and 1499; and

- sodium nitrate in solid form, UN numbers: 1498 and 1499.

These chemicals were chosen due to their use in past terrorist incidents:

"The two most significant bombing incidents in the United States (U.S.) involving Oklahoma City’s Murrah Federal Building in 1997 and New York City’s World Trade Center in 2001, as well as the deadly attacks on the London mass transit system in July of 2005, all involved explosives made from some of the chemicals that are targeted to be regulated as restricted components under these Regulations."

Only sellers that are "enrolled on the list of sellers of restricted components" will be allowed to sell the above restricted components.  However, there is an exemption that allows the selling of restricted components to laboratories that are affiliated with a post-secondary institution, a hospital or a government agency.

The new regulations, unless specified, only cover pure substances, not mixtures including one or more of the restricted components.  Canada’s Ministry of Natural Resources provides the following clarification:

"Except for the H2O2, the Nitric Acid and the Ammonium nitrate, the other 6 restricted components (including Nitromethane) are currently regulated under their pure form (i.e. 100%)."

A number of rules are placed on sellers of restricted components, which cover items such as security, ensuring only authorized staff have access to the restricted components, do weekly stock inspections to ensure no restricted components have been lost or stolen, record keeping, and obtaining identification from purchasers of these components.  The seller must also obtain very detailed records of sales of components above the following quantities:

- hydrogen peroxide, 1 L;
- nitromethane, 1 L;
- potassium chlorate, 1 kg;
- potassium perchlorate, 10 kg;
- sodium chlorate, 1 kg;
- nitric acid, 3.5 kg;
- potassium nitrate, 25 kg; and
- sodium nitrate, 25 kg

The regulations come into effect on June 1, 2008 for ammonium nitrate and March 1, 2009 for the other 8 chemicals.

Full details about the regulations can be obtained from the Government of Canada.

Resume Templates

Working with Resume Templates

There’s no right way or wrong way to write a resume.  Find a resume template that you like and can work with. Stick to the general outline but edit to fit your best credentials and accolades.

It’s an advantage to have a large collection of templates to choose from to give as many options as possible. You can also utilize different formats and see which you like best. Make sure you have someone who can proof read for grammar and spelling.

What’s great about specific job resume templates is that they give you a targeted outline to work with. For example: A Marketing resume template might include headings like Entertainment and Media, Marketing and Advertising, Sales, Business, and Promotional Development, Business and Project Management. The things associated with marketing that will encourage you to think about what you have to offer a new company.

A good practice is to develop two resumes with different formats and then pass them around to family and friends for opinions.

As you begin to read job postings and the employment Ads, you can tweak your resume as you go.  Do your homework about the company you’re interested in and personalize it with pertinent and positive information in your cover letter.

Retail Jobs Provide Unprecedented Opportunities

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for those people interested in a retail career will soar over the next five to ten years. Retail opportunities are expected to grow in virtually every type of position, but the need for customer service representatives, marketing managers, and counter clerks are projected to grow up to thirty-five percent by the year 2014. The Bureau estimates that companies will need nearly 2.3 million retail salespeople by 2014 and almost 1.8 million cashiers. High-growth jobs in retail also include those who work in merchandise display and who are purchasing managers.

The Flexibility of Retail Jobs

There's truly never been a better time to get a retail job. In addition to the unprecedented number of job openings, retail work has a number of benefits and opportunities that are simply not available in other industries. For example, when you're taking the first steps on your career path, store jobs provide incredible flexibility. You can choose to work part-time or full-time, depending on your schedule and circumstances. Similarly, temporary positions abound during peak seasons, such as mall jobs during November and December or retail jobs at resort destinations during the summer.

The flexibility of retail jobs extends to the type of company for which you wish to work. Perhaps you would enjoy working in an independent boutique, for example, or maybe you enjoy the atmosphere of a "big box" retailer. It could be that mall jobs entice you, or perhaps you like the idea of working for a national or international retail chain. Because retail jobs are so ubiquitous, the choice is completely up to you.

Learning on the Job

Aside from the flexibility offered by jobs in retail, these positions offer education and training that you often don't find in other fields. Large companies may have intensive training programs specifically tailored to the position you're filling and to the company for which you're working. Although you may begin in one position, you can easily earn opportunities for advancement and training in a variety of other retail fields.

While smaller companies often rely upon on-the-job training for their new employees (rather than structured classes), you most likely will have the opportunity to learn a wide variety of skills. For example, if you are hired as a sales clerk in an independent clothing boutique, you may find that you have the opportunity to work on merchandise displays, to help design in-store promotions, and even to accompany the owner to market to select fashion for upcoming seasons.

Financial Benefits of Retail Jobs

Because there is such a great demand for those pursuing a retail career, employers often offer a wide range of financial incentives and benefits to their employees. From health insurance, tuition reimbursement, and retirement plans to parental leave, paid vacation time, and employee discounts, retail jobs can be as financially rewarding as they are satisfying.

Retail Merchant Accounts - Do You Need One?

Some entrepreneurs are satisfied with making a certain amount of income and have no wish or plan to grow their business with a retail merchant account. Others, however, aggressively pursue professional opportunities for expansion by seeking out technological advances that can help them better serve customer needs while increasing profits. A retail merchant account will elevate you to the next level of business development by providing access to sophisticated methods that can impress clients and outdistance the competition.

Reasons for opening a retail merchant account are many and varied. Here are some of the more prevalent:

1. A retail merchant account can equip you with key equipment that will make your job easier and more efficient. For example, you can have a credit card processor installed, sometimes at no cost, and pay just a few cents for each customer transaction. Or you can arrange a deal whereby you pay a small percentage of all credit card transactions your company accepts. For a minimal fee you may soon be able to multiply profits while reducing costs typically associated with hiring employees to manage cash purchases.

2. A retail merchant account can make doing business with your company easier and more convenient. Customers won’t have to worry about stopping by the bank or writing a check to get cash before visiting your establishment, nor will they have to pay ATM fees to withdraw cash. They can simply pull out a credit card with confidence, knowing that you can quickly process payment without the hassle of making change or opening a check-cashing account.

3. A retail merchant account can put you ahead of others in your area who conduct similar business but who do not yet have a merchant account or its accompanying advantages. If customers have to choose between two companies for shopping or service, they are more likely to choose the one that provides credit card processing as a payment option, along with other professional services that build trust in the company’s vision.

4. A retail merchant account can offer the first step toward leading your business into the future. After implementing a credit card processor, for example, you may later decide to offer wireless processing options, which will provide your customers with even more options for doing business with your company without the need for staff to manage every telephone call, order, or payment. You can cut operating costs and increase profit margins when you expand your business to include customer-friendly automated technology.

Don’t be the last in your industry to jump on board the technological bandwagon. Start checking the various programs that are available to help you improve the services you can offer customers to keep them coming back with repeat business. Compare options to get the best services for your customer’s needs. Negotiate for the lowest costs and most effective terms. You might even want to conduct an informal customer survey to learn about the types of upgrades they want to see happen in your company. Then shop for the best deal in your new retail merchant account.

Retiring Vice Chairman Dominates Ford News

As of late, Ford news has surrounded the company announcement made earlier this year pertaining to the retirement of longtime Ford executive, Greg Smith.  After starting out as an engineer with truck operations in 1973, Smith was atop Ford news as he moved up to Vice Chairman after more than 30 years with the company.  Now, after 32 years of service, Smith has announced his retirement effective March 1, 2006. 

“Greg has contributed tremendously to Ford Motor Company in many areas, including leading the turnaround at Ford Motor Credit,” admits Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bill Ford.  “His deep knowledge of all aspects of the business has been extremely helpful as we’ve developed our plans for the future, and I’m pleased he will remain with us in a consulting role.”

Upon joining Ford in 1973 as an engineer with truck operations, a recent Ford news release explains that Greg Smith also held several engineering and product planning positions within the company.  In 1985, Smith moved to the Ford Division as Truck and Powertrain Marketing Plans manager before becoming the manager of Car Marketing Plans.  Finally, he accepted the position of Central Region Marketing manager.  Smith later went from the Ford Division to the Lincoln Mercury Division, which is where he became the Dallas District Operations manager. 

After returning from Dallas in 1990, Smith was named Director of Strategy and Advanced Planning for car product development.  Just three years later, in 1993, he was promoted to executive director of Strategic Planning and External Affairs for the Ford Financial Services Group.  Following that, Smith was appointed President and Chief Operating Officer of Ford Motor Credit before being named the Chairman and CEO of Ford Motor Credit.  In 2004, he became a company Executive Vice President and President of the Americas, which is a position that he held until he was elected Vice Chariman.

“Greg’s respect for his fellow employees and his leadership behaviors are well known and highly regarded throughout the company,” said Jim Padilla, Ford Motor Company president and Chief Operating Officer.  According to a recent Ford news release, Padilla added, “We appreciate his many contributions and will greatly miss his knowledge and insight.”

As Vice Chairman, Smith was responsible for a variety of company operations, including the direction of central corporate staffs.  Among others, he was responsible for directing the departments of Human Resources and Labor Affairs, Corporate Strategy and Information Technology and Automotive Strategy.  As Vice Chairman, Greg Smith was a regular participant in Ford news releases, as well as being in charge of guiding Ford Motor Company’s strategic development, considering and enforcing key decisions and defining it’s future financial services.       
From new automobiles to racing and even to retirement, Ford news is widely read by auto enthusiasts worldwide.  Wherever automotive happenings occur, it is almost certain to include some type of Ford news in the mix.

Revealed, the simple steps to quit your job.

From: Adwordsmriacle
Everybody would love to make lots of money quickly, working from home, and only doing a few hours of work per week. I've spent the past two years trying to find a great way of doing this. Only over the course of the past few months have I found any "get rich quick" programs worth buying. I've been trying to make money online for a long time. I had a few small websites, but they never made much more than a few hundred per month. It was easy money and didn't require much work on my part, but I knew there were people out there doing better than I was and I knew I could do as well as them.
Now, I've seen a lot of "get rich quick" programs. Most of these people make claims about earning $2000/day with Google or something similarly insane. Almost all of these people are complete liars. Even if they were making $2000/day with Google AdSense, it'd be because they had high- traffic websites with a lot of quality content. I'd know, because in one whole month, I never even made half of what they promised I'd make daily with their programs. Maybe you've already been scammed by one of these fraudsters. Anyway, I finally got sick of what was being offered.
I decided I'd look through the all of the "get rich quick" programs I could find and see if there were any that were actually legitimate. I found that there were owners selling their programs for well over $100, but the information in them could be found almost anywhere online for free. Additionally, they all contained out-of-date information, had no e-mail support, no money back guarantees, and broken links in the downloads section. 
In conclusion, almost all of the programs I found were completely useless. The owners knew it, but they couldn't care less about their customers since they didn't offer refund policies! Amazingly, while looking through all of the programs, I actually did find a few legitimate programs. They were run by ordinary people like you and me, and they had found some great methods of making money from their home by doing very little work.
I spent some time working with those programs, and my income is now ten times what it used to be. These programs provided a large amount of great information on how to make extra money on your computer doing very little work. Numerous customers had provided great feedback and reviews for their products. Many of them have started to make money just days after buying!

Reverse Cell Phone Search

Tracking down the identity of an unknown caller is not as hard as you might think. Although you could find out the information you want for free, a lot of your success will depend on luck. It is far easier to get a membership at a private reverse cell phone directory because you are guaranteed to get what you want -- owner details, like name, address and wireless service carrier.

People need to lookup phone number details for a variety of reasons. Whether you are concerned about the kids your teenager has been hanging out with, or need to stop a very annoying prank caller, or even need to stop a harassing stalker, conducting a reverse cell phone trace is a very legitimate means of investigating a questionable person -- especially if you suspect your significant other may be cheating on you.

But again, in order to find out an unknown person's identity for free, you're going to have to be lucky. The only way you can find his or her private information is if they have willingly put it up on the Internet. That way, you can find it by doing a search with their phone number on the major search engines, like Google, Yahoo and MSN. Otherwise, your only option is to make a small investment with a real cell phone database that allows you to conduct reverse lookups on virtually any phone number.

The reason that you can't find cell phone details online for free is because of the transitory nature of a cell phone number's life span. People are always changing cell numbers, and as a result they are just too difficult to track on a consistent basis (for free). Maintaining an accurate and up-to-date cell phone database is simply too difficult and costs too much money for it to be available online for free. People are also worried about having their phone numbers out in the open for telemarketers to exploit, so the government has made it very difficult for people to uncover cell phone number details.

But don't worry, accurate and current reverse cell phone number lookup directories do exist and are very affordable. The best ones will allow you to purchase a lifetime membership for unlimited searches, or, if you don't feel the need for unlimited access, you can make a smaller investment for just one lookup. They will allow you to do a free preliminary search to see if the information you are seeking is available in their database, at which point you can decide whether or not you want to get it.

Reverse Merger: A Vision Without A Strategy Is A Prescription For Failur

Many business owners with a dream to take their company public often neglect to prepare and plan for the future, very few small and mid-size companies have a business plan.

A business plan is like a road map, and can be likened to when you go on a journey. Sometimes you need to change direction, it doesn’t mean your destination changes, you are just getting there via a different route.

A vision is some thing that is birthed in the mind and soul of the individual, some people act on it and others procrastinate for a period of time only to see someone else take their dream and bring it to fruition.

The dream giver will only allow you to sit on your dream for so long before giving it to someone else. You often hear people saying “ I had that idea two or three years ago”, what good is an idea without taking action, but with the action there must be a strategy.

Businesses don’t plan to fail, they fail because they fail to plan. Entrepreneurs usually are visionaries who get an idea and run with it but, if you look at the successful ones they always had a plan, and a team to help them bring their dream to the market plece.

The team can sometimes get you to the top, but it’s the strategy that takes you over the top, so don’t settle for second best, be the best.

If you look at a twenty year chart of Microsoft Corporation, or Yahoo Inc. You will find that at one time their stock traded under a dollar but through brilliant strategies they were able to accomplished great things.

Just like Bill Gates had a plan so must you develop one. Bill Gates also had Paul Allen so must you find someone who can complement your weak point. If you are not a good strategist go out and find yourself one who is not a yes man.

The phrase “no man is an island” is most applicable in the corporate environment, where team work is essential for success.

In small companies the dreamer is required at times to do everything and become efficient in every task, which is beneficial because he should know the functions of every department in the company. But he should have competent personnel in those position in order for him to be able to see the entire picture.

This is where being a public company comes in handy, it allow the entrepreneur to use the company stock as an incentive to attract more competent and better qualified personnel and retain them. It also makes it possible for the company stock to be used for acquisition purposes.

Team work is essential in order to be able to succeed. I remember in the 1980's investing in a company the appear to have a dream team for it’s management, everyone involved in management had a PHD and an ego to match it. A friend of mine who was the investment banker for the company related to me how he attended a meeting with the company and it was complete chaos, each person appear to think that their opinion was the only one deserving of consideration. Needless to say the company eventually file for chapter eleven.

An entrepreneur must check his ego and keep it under control in order be able to lead those around him, nobody likes to work with an egomaniac.

I believe that meetings can be useful or a waste of time, if all you do at a meeting is inform the staff of what you are doing or what you would like them to do, you are wasting valuable time that could be use to implement the corporate strategy. This can be done with a memo.

In order for a meeting to be of some value it must include a free exchange of ideas, a good leader seeks to know what those who are in the corporate battle field think. Because they are the one who are in the trenches, in a position to be able to hear what customers and employees are thinking and saying.

A good advisory service can sometimes be beneficial to assist in the evaluation of potential merger and acquisition candidates, to help identify potential candidates for joint ventures, or investment. Also helps with the due diligence process, the structuring of the transaction and the development of corporate strategies for growth and investment.

A good advisory service will evaluate your company and advise you as

to the best way to go public, either traditional IPO, Reverse Merger or Regulation D (504) offering.

Once the decision has been made on which method to use in going public (for many small companies is either Reverse merger or Regulation D (504) offering.) The consultant used, must be able to guide you through the intricacies of the public arena. And have financial industry contacts.

Don’t sit on your dream waiting for the perfect situation because it may never come, had Bill Gates waited until Microsoft’s public shares could justify a higher price before going public, he might still be waiting.

Microsoft and Yahoo are not isolated situation but just two of many who looked at the challenge and saw an opportunity. I guess the old saying “ faint hearts never won fair ladies “ is still apropos today.

For additional information please contact Genesis Corporate Advisor.

Reverse Merger: Have They Taken the Reverse out of Reverse Merger?

Are the promoters and consultants destroying the market for Reverse Merger? First lets take a look at reverse merger. In a Reverse Merger, an operating private company merges with a public company that has little or no assets, nor know liabilities (the “shell”).

In some rare instances, the shell may have some amount of cash remaining for investment in the new enterprise. The public corporation is called a “shell” since all that exists of the original company is its corporate shell structure and shareholders.

The private company owners obtain the majority of the shell corporation stock (usually 90-95%) through a new issue of stock for the private enterprise or assets.

The public corporation will normally change its name to the private company’s name and elect a new board of directors which will appoint the officers.

The public corporation will usually have a base of shareholder sufficient to to meet the 300 shareholder requirement for eventual admission to quotation on the NASDAQ Small-Cap Market, Or some other market.

Now to the problem or the devil is in the details: The private company goes out perform the proper due diligence on a “shell” after finding it to be clean, and with no adverse past history to disqualify it, goes ahead completes the purchase.

After paying an astronomical price, say in the neighborhood of $500,000.00- to 700,000.00 for a Bulletin Board shell they get 90-95% of the stock.

Not only is the price extravagant, he will also take the reverse out of Reverse Merger, by insisting on a stipulation that you won’t do a reverse split and reduce the number of shares outstanding. By reverse splitting the shares you are reducing his 10%. Which was the original intent of the reverse merger.

What a bargain $500,000.00 or more for 90% of nothing and it gets better, Lets say the company has 300 shareholders and those 300 shareholders collectively own 500,000 shares and in some cases more, and the shell has 30,000,000 million shares outstanding which the owner(s) of the shell get keep 10% or 3.000,000 share. I am using the old math not the new.

After the market maker files and the company is trading on the Otcc Bulletin Board. Your problems begin, lets say friends and acquaintances hear your company is now public and go out and buy some shares driving the price to say $3.50,

now those 300 share holder who received their stock for pennies decide that they have hit the lottery and start selling making it necessary for you to go out and buy stock in the open market.

Now back to basic math, supposing you want to maintain the 3.50 price so you go out and buy the stock. 500,000 x 3.50 = $1,750,000.00 forcing you to go raid the kid’s piggy bank if you don’t have the spare change.

Now what about the 3,000,000 shares in the hands of the “shell” owner? 3,000.000 x 3.50 = $10,500,000.00, Time to ask the wife for loan.

And don’t forget about those astute market makers and trader that are aware of the stock that will be coming out and depress the price of your company’s stock.

Being the enterprising individual that they are, they will establish a short position on the stock of your company, after all they are entitle to make a living too.

Before you jump from the Empire State Building make sure there is net down below waiting for you.

Don’t get me wrong a reverse merger can be done if you have a consultant that is looking out for you and is not part of the triumvirate (shell owner, securities Attorney and consultant). And in a few cases the same individual is performing all three functions.

I wouldn’t recommend for you to go step out in to the mine field without a mine detector, in some of my previous articles I suggested way to check the smooth talking consultants and shell owners before they take you to the cleaners.

Also be aware that there are alternate way to go public the Reverse merger is only one of several option, so don’t jump without looking, if you feel that you must do a Reverse merge insist on obtaining all the stock and not a share less.

In order to prepare you to deal with the complexities of the public arena I would have to write a book not an article, but I will continue to try and inform through articles so that you will be prepare if you decide to take the plunge and go public.

There are honest hard working consultants out there, in over 25 years in the business I have personally come across two of them. But there must be more.

If you want to know about the alternatives to a reverse merger get in touch with me through our website: the alternatives may not be cheap but they are cheaper than paying $500,000.00 for 90% of nothing.

The answer to the title of this article is a resounding yes! They have taken the reverse out of Reverse merger.

For additional information please visit:

Reverse Merger, IPO Or Direct Public Offering (DPO), Which One Is Right For You?

A direct public offering is when a company raises capital by selling its shares directly to what is refer to as affinity groups, unlike an IPO which are sold by a broker dealer to its customers and the general public through other broker dealers who have customers interested in buying shares in the company.

In IPO’s you have a firm commitment underwriting, where the underwriters promise to purchase the securities for their own account if they can not sell them to customers.

Best-effort underwriting: The underwriters do not guarantee any specific number of shares to be sold, they merely act as brokers.

In an IPO the lead underwriter is refer to as the syndicate manager, he keeps the book and invites other broker dealers to join the syndicate. In an firm commitment underwriting, an eastern underwriters agreement makes members liable for any unsold securities, regardless of how much of their allotment they sold. The eastern underwriting agreements have joint and several liability.

A western underwriting a agreement: In a firm commitment underwriting, it makes underwriters liable severally but not jointly. If one syndicate member can not sell its entire allotment, only he must buy the unsold securities.

In a direct public offering the company sells the shares to affinity groups, who fall in this category? Customers, suppliers, distributors, friends, employees and other members the community.

In a direct public offering the company place its shares in the hand of those people who are familiar with the company and know the company’s product and management, and are most likely to hold the shares longer because they feel comfortable with the company’s prospects for the future.

Direct public offerings are considerably less expensive than IPO’s and most effective for smaller offerings, for large offerings the sales staff and customer base of a broker dealer are usually necessary.

Since the affinity group is already familiar with the company and its practices it doesn’t put pressure on the company to change the way it does business, and will remain loyal to the company because of it’s presence in the community.

DPO’s are preferable to venture capital financing because it allows the present management to execute its business plan without outside interference. When a small company turns to a single large investor they tend to surrender the freedom to make all the decisions.

In a DPO like other method of going public today audited financial statements are required, unlike a reverse merger you choose your shareholders and you don’t have to deal with shady, unscrupulous shell owners.

Shell owners usually keep between 5-15% of the shares outstanding and are quick to liquidate, and besides they do not have an interest in the well being of the company’s share price. Even if you insert a stipulation in the contract that they can not sell for a year they will find a way of shorting the stock and destroying the share price.

This make DPO a preferable option even for companies that don’t need financing but would like to go public. If you are in the kind of business that keep records of your customer in order to bill them or for follow ups you already have a head start.

You must be able to contact those affinity group in order to market the shares to them, a popular business that has a lot of client but does not have the contact information is at disadvantage because it’s unable to contact its customer.

There are other ways to market the company’s stock for example a medical supply company might try contacting doctor in the area or by purchasing a mailing list.

But the best way is when you have an established relationship with your affinity group and are in constant contact with them, by mail, newsletter, or email.

Sometime a supplier or distributor may want to purchase an interest in the company in order retain the business and keep competitors from stealing the client.

A DPO does not always require audited financials but if you plan on going public you will need them. So you must hire an auditing firm. A foreign company must use a Certified International Accounting Firm.

A good Attorney that has experience with Direct Public Offerings, one that is familiar with the process and does not have to waste time researching and learning.

You must prepare sales material that provides a good deal of information about the company, you want investors feel that your company has a future.

You should always have a business plan, it will show investor that you have strategy for making the company succeed and doing it one step at a time.

By setting dates for the implementation of each step in your plan it shows investors that you have things well under control, but allow some time in case you must make adjustments.

If you wish to take your company public then you must file a form SB with the Securities and Exchange Commission and a form 15c211 must be filed with the NASD.

A DPO is an alternative to an IPO or Reverse Merger for a company wishing to go public or obtain financing, it allows the company owner(s) to call the shots instead of an underwriter or a shell owner.

We assist companies in going public through Reverse Merger, DPO and assist them in finding an underwriter if the company prefers and IPO.

Which one is right for you? We can help you decide.

For additional information visit our website:

Review: Salgado Investigations

Salgado Investigations was founded by Jorge Salgado in early 2006, the company is based in Croydon South London. I asked Jorge how he first got into the world of private investigation. He informed me, he was a bit of a rebel in his younger days, he started off his working life with a short stint at his local Cinema. This was followed by finding work as a security guard; Jorge quickly found his feet in this line of work and progressed to become a store detective. Jorge continued to distinguish himself from his peers and moved up the chain to becoming a retail undercover investigator at Heathrow Airport and later was appointed as the security manager at WH Smiths.

In 2006 Jorge decided it was time to take a gamble, this led to him setting up his own private detective agency. It is normal for people to struggle when they first set up their own business, Jorge was no exception. In the first 6 months he found it very difficult to source a steady stream of clients. From late 2006 however things started to improve as clients started to appear on a more regular basis.

Jorge is passionate about his work; he continually strives to improve his own personal knowledge base as well as developing his website. He views this as crucial, especially in light of new licensing legislation that is expected to be introduced within the next 12 months. His clients are obviously happy with the level of service as he receives many referrals and recommendations.

Salgado Investigations offer an array of services, these include

     • Process Servers
     • Tracing Agents & People Finders
     • Loss Prevention Investigators
     • Matrimonial & Infidelity Surveillance
     • Insurance & Personal Injury Detectives
     • Computer Forensics Unit - CFU

Jorge spends a lot of time networking with other small business owners at 4Networking, what I personally like is Jorge puts a lot of time into this networking group however due to the nature of his work, it seldom results in him sourcing clients, this is testament to his true character.

I wish Jorge all the best for the future, I am aware he has some interesting ideas for his companies’ development and improvement. I am sure his hard working ethos and determined attitude will serve him well in positioning his business at the forefront of the UK’s private investigation sector.

Rewarding Award Plaques

When you think about contests or other various events when human skill or genius is being acknowledge, there are always various types of award plaques that are being handed out to either the contest winners or just to the persons who are being honored at a certain event.

In spite of the awarding ceremony being a small part of the whole program, the award plaques are clearly an important part of the whole event. Without it the contest or the event would not really have a highlight and really, there is not fun when there are no awards that are being handed out.

You can be sure that the organizers of the event or contest have really taken their time in coming up with the kind of award plaques that really befits the winners of the person who is being honored.

Award plaques come in all sorts of type since they will be used on different occasions, like the award plaque that will be used at a quiz bee will definitely be different from the award plaque that will be given to someone who just won a writing contest or the award plaque that will be given to the person who has created a great scientific discovery or to someone who has managed to change the world for the better.

So you see, there is really much effort to be done when it comes to picking out the perfect award plaque that you will use for whatever event or contest you are holding.

There are actually various award plaque stores all over the United States all offering various types and designs of award plaques. Some of these award plaque stores also offer other specialty services when it comes to producing an award plaque that will fit your taste.

A common type of special award plaque service is to have your award plaque custom made. You can actually turn the award plaque into something that really represents either your organization or institution to give that extra kick for your award plaque. Of course, you have to be prepared to give a little extra money for having such a unique plaque made. Having an award plaque that is distinctly your company's, institution's or organization's own is certainly worth that little extra money.

In case your area does not have a lot of award plaque stores and the ones that are being sold off in specialty stores are not your type or are just too boring for words, you can then log on to the internet wherein there are so many award plaque makers who offers all sorts of designs and finishes for the award plaques that they offer.

The internet, aside from being home to various award plaque merchants, is also a highly convenient way of purchasing an award plaque from a generally faraway place like if you live in New York and the award plaque maker is based in Germany (it will cost you the shipping though) or if again, you live in New York and the award plaque specialty store is situated in Los Angeles (it will be pretty impractical for you to fly all the way to California).

Just be prepared to pay extra for the shipping and handling as well as allow some time before the award plaques will actually reach your place. So be sure that when you are opting to take this kind of award plaque shopping, you should give an ample time allowance for its delivery or else, your award plaque might not have even arrived by the time of the awarding ceremony.

There are various types of award plaques that you can choose from like the really generic slide in award plaques where you can just literally slide in a printed matter in your award plaque frame where all the details concerning the event and the winner's name are all there. Next there are the traditional matted plaques which are a popular choice for corporate office settings and are usually given out on special yearly corporate events.

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Alameda California Realtor Training course is designed specifically to make you an expert real estate mentor, it is inexpensive and insure that you a successful Real Estate Career. It provides you the freedom to establish a career in real estate in the quickest possible time. No other real estate investment training program provides an easier way for you to learn these strategies to become a real estate agent. Alameda California Realtor Training is the right choice for your success, it has been preparing people and teaching them how to succeed by improving on their weaknesses.

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Risk Assessment in The Workplace. Part 1.

What is risk assessment?

A risk assessment is simply a careful examination of your workplace, to identify what could cause harm to people, so that you can decide as to whether you have taken enough precautions or should do more to prevent harm from being caused.

Work accidents and work related ill health, can ruin lives, and seriously affect your business also, if output is lost, machinery is damaged, insurance costs increase, or you have to go to court.

You are legally required to assess the risks in your workplace.

The important thing you need to decide is whether a hazard is significant, and whether you have taken satisfactory precautions to minimize the risk.

If you are a small firm owner, and you are confident you understand what is involved, you can carry out a risk assessment yourself. You do not have to be a Health and Safety expert. If you are a larger firm, then you may want to assign a responsible employee, safety representative or safety officer to carry out the task. You can also obtain advice from outside companies, who have specialised in this type of work.

What is Hazard and Risk?

A hazard means anything that can cause harm. To give you a basic idea, think of chemicals, electricity, working at heights etc etc.

A risk is the chance, high or low, that somebody will be harmed by the hazard.

There are five steps in a risk assessment:

Step 1. Look for the hazards.

Step 2. Decide who might be harmed and how.

Step 3. Evaluate the risk and decide whether the existing precautions are adequate or whether more should be done.

Step 4. Record your findings.

Step 5. Review your assessment and revise it if required.

Do not overcomplicate matters. In the majority of firms in the commercial, service and light industrial sectors, the hazards are  few, and those that do exist are fairly obvious. Checking them is mainly a matter of common sense, but also a required and necessary action.

You probably know already, whether you have machinery that could cause harm, or if there is an awkward entrance or stairway where someone could be hurt. If so, check that you have taken all reasonable precautions you can to avoid accidents and prevent injury.

Lets take a closer look at Steps 1 and 2.

Step 1. Look for the hazards.

If you are doing the assessment yourself, walk around your workplace and look at what could reasonably be expected to cause harm. Ignore the trivial (for now) and concentrate on significant hazards which could result in serious harm.

Ask your employees what they think. They are the ones who are working with the various components on a daily basis, and will therefore know where the problems are. They may have noticed things which are not immediately obvious. Manufacturers instructions or data sheets can also help you spot hazards and put risks in their proper perspective.

Step 2. Decide who might be harmed and how.

For each identified hazard you should then decide who might be harmed and how. And of course you will then be able to decide on a course or action that will prevent the hazard from causing risk.

Do not forget about young workers, trainees, expectant mothers etc who may be at particular risk.

Do not forget cleaners, visitors, contractors, maintenance workers etc who may not be in the workplace all the time.

Do not forget members of the public, or people you share the workplace with, if there is any chance they could be injured by your activity.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Financial and Personal Advantages of Home Business Opportunities

You may be one of the many people looking for home business opportunities. There are several million people working at home today and a number of them are using their computers to make money. The Internet has opened up a new market to sell services and products worldwide.

You can be in charge of your future and have a successful business while working at home. There are moms who would like to stay at home with young children but still contribute to the family income. Even early retirees can find a new job to give them income and a new opportunity in life.

You may be someone who would like to work at home. You won't have to worry about an alarm clock, commuting drive, or an annoying boss.

Be Your Own Boss

One of the biggest advantages of home business opportunities is that you can be your own boss. You don't have to work specific hours every day and in many cases, the hours are only part-time. You can usually set your own schedule and work as little or as much as you desire.

There are different ways to make money on the Internet. You can work for yourself by selling services or unique products. You can set up your own website or advertise on other sites. You can also work for other people and leave the organization and management to someone else but still be an independent employee.

Many people have tried different schemes to make money on the Internet or to work at home. It is important to examine companies that promise great rewards when you sell for them. Some require hard selling and multi-level marketing where only those at the top of the chain win. These often do not work out as they are promoted. This is especially discouraging if a large investment has been made.

Home Business Opportunities

There are online sites that will give you ideas for work at home jobs. For a nominal fee, these sites will train you, set up your business, and support you as you work.  There are a variety of home business opportunities to choose from. You can get paid to take surveys at home, make money from eBay, get paid to blog online, sell products, set up a travel business, or assist people with money brokering. With these methods, you can set the hours you want to work. Your income will depend on how much time you want to spend working.

There are advantages in going online to find a company to get you started in a home-based business opportunity. Usually there is no experience required, and the company will give you training. They have organized plans to help you get started in the right way. Some companies do all the set up so that you are immediately ready to do business.

Get Started on Your Own Business at Home

Your home business opportunity can be successful and fulfilling. Whether you want a part-time job or second income there are many opportunities to make money at home. By spending a few hours a week you can build your own business without a large investment.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Risk Assessment in The Workplace. Part 2.

Step 3. Evaluate the risks and decide whether existing precautions are adequate or more should be done.

Consider how likely it is that each hazard could cause harm. This will determine whether or not you need to do more to reduce the risk. Even after all precautions have been taken, some risk usually remains. What you have to decide for each significant hazard is whether this remaining risk is high, medium or low.

Firstly, ask yourself whether you have done all the things that the law says you have got to do. As an example, there are legal requirements on prevention of access to dangerous parts of machinery. Then ask yourself whether generally accepted industry standards are in place. But do not stop there, think for yourself, because the law also says that you must do what is reasonably practicable to keep your workplace safe. Your real aim is to Make All Risks Small by adding to your precautions as necessary.

If you find that something needs to be done, draw up an action list, and give priority to any remaining risks which are high, and those which could affect most people.

In taking action ask yourself:

1. Can you get rid of the hazard altogether?

2. If not, how can you control the risks, so that harm is unlikely?

In controlling risks apply the principles below, if possible in the following order:

1. Try a less risky option.
2. Prevent access to the hazard (eg by installing guards)
3. Organise work to reduce exposure to the hazard.
4. Issue personal protective equipment.
5. Provide welfare facilities (eg washing facilities for removal of contamination) and first aid.

Improving health and safety need not cost a lot. For instance, placing a mirror on a dangerous blind corner to help prevent vehicle accidents or putting some non-slip material on slippery steps, are relatively inexpensive precautions considering the risks.

And failure to take simple precautions can cost you a lot more if an accident does happen.

But what if the work you do tends to vary a lot, or if you and your employees move from one site to another?

Identify the hazards you can reasonably expect and assess the risks from them. Then, if you spot any additional hazards when you arrive at the site. Get information from others on site, and take what action seems necessary.

But what if you share a workplace?
Tell the other employers and self-employed people working there about any risks your work could cause them, and also the precautions you are taking. Also, think about the risks to your own workforce from those who share your workplace.

But what if you have already assessed some of the risks?
If. for example you use hazardous chemicals and you have already assessed the risks to health and the precautions you need to take under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH), you can consider them checked and move on.

More information about legal requirements and standards can be found in the HSE publications:

An Introduction to Health and Safety. Essentials of Health and Safety. And Management of Health and Safety at Work: Approval Code of Practice.

Thats it for this section.
I'll cover Steps 4 and 5 in Part 3.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Risk Assessment in The Workplace. Part 3.

Step 4. Record your findings.

If you have less than 5 employees then you do not need to write anything down. Although you will find it useful to keep a written record of what you have done.

If you have five or more employees, then you must put in writing the significant findings of your risk assessment. This means writing down the significant hazards and your conclusions.

Examples might be something like:

Electrical installations: insulation and earthing checked and found OK.


Fumes from welding: local exhaust ventilation provided and regularly checked.

You must also tell your employees about your findings.

Suitable and sufficient, not perfect.

Risk assessment must be suitable and sufficient. You need to be able to show that:

a proper check was made,<br>
you asked who might be affected (at risk),<br>
you dealt with all the obvious significant hazards, taking into account the number of people who could be involved,<br>
the precautions are reasonable, and the remaining risk is low.

Keep your written record for reference in the future. It will help you if a Health and Safety Inspector decides to pay you a visit and asks what precautions you have already taken. Or if you become involved in any legal action for civil liability.

It can also act as a reminder for you to keep an eye on any particular hazards and precautions.

You should also make sure that any new employees read the documentation so that they are aware of what is being done.

To make things easier, you could refer to other documents, such as manuals, the arrangements in your health and safety policy statement, company rules and regulations, working instructions, health and safety procedures, and your arrangements for general fire safety.

You may already list these procedures elsewhere. You do not need to repeat all of them, but it is up to you how you wish to present the documents. You could keep them seperately or combine them all into one document.

Step 5. Review your assessment and revise it if necessary.

Sooner or later you are going to bring in new machinery, substances or procedures which may lead to new hazards. If there is any significant change, add this new hazard to your assessment. You do not need to amend your assessment for every trivial change, or for each new job.

But if any change, or new job, brings in significant new hazards, then you should consider them in their own right and do whatever is necessary to keep the risks down.

And finally, it is a good working practice to review your assessment from time to time, to ensure that the precautions are still working effectively.