Does Your Business Have This Kind Of Flexibility?

How much flexibility do you have in your business?

One of the biggest advantages of the Information Marketing business is that it truly is a business you can do from anywhere.

Sometimes things happen and you have to be away from your business for periods of time. Sometimes, events come up that require you to be away unexpectedly… even when you have appointments on my calendar, and it’s great to have the flexibility to be able to go handle situations or to support a family member, and not miss a beat in your business.

And, if you can do that without rescheduling a bunch of things because you can do business with a phone and a laptop. Or an iPad or some other kind of tablet or device like that.

You don’t have to miss coaching and consulting clients calls. Whether you have an information marketing business or you have a brick and mortar business, you should think about whether or not you have your business set up in a way that allows you to do things in your life as they happen and as they come up, that you want to be doing. That’s why you opened your own business, right?

You wanted freedom, You wanted to make more money – or at least have some control over it, you wanted the time freedom and do the things you want to do.

So, if you’re missing out on things with your kids, or things with your spouse or partner because of your business – and it’s happening on a regular basis, you might want to think about how you have things set up in your business.

You don’t need to get a new business, or be in the information business (but it’s a great adjunct and it’s a great lifestyle business). How can you make your business meet your lifestyle?

Have you ever been told you live to work? Most people work to live.

How much flexibility do you currently have in your life and business? How much would you like to have in your life, to be able to do more fun things, to be able to travel, or own another home or buy an RV or jewelry, or more time with your kids?

It doesn’t have to be about things, because in the long run, it’s not the things that are important, it’s the time that you get and the time freedom you have.

Office Blinds Or No Office Blinds: How To Increase Productivities

You will spend more waking hours in your place of work than your home almost all your life. It might sound a bit depressing, but we work so we can maintain the lifestyles we want, and have the freedom to travel and buy things and treat our loved ones in our free time. And all in all we think it’s probably worth it. If your office environment is a negative one though, it can feel like you’re spending a lot more than 80 days a year at that desk.

You employer should make sure you’re comfortable at all times. That means making sure your work station is set up correctly, and you have all the equipment that you need in order to do your job, whether that’s a biro or a big expensive, multi-screen computer.

Many employers (and even their employees) don’t consider how much their environment will affect their working day. Many offices have only a few windows, and daylight helps give employees a point of focus away from their desk. You should be looking away and getting up and around for 5 minutes for every hour that you’re at work. Office blinds can make a massive impact into your employees focus.

Glare

When you’re looking at a screen, glare is your worst enemy. It’s why there’s a lack of windows in so many businesses, and why there is so much need for screens. Glare can cause eye strain and long term sight problems. In the short term your employees might suffer regular headaches and a feeling of nausea. If your workers can’t see the work they’re meant to be doing, how are they supposed to get on with it?

The solution is simple. Adjustable office blinds can be used to let in sunlight to the room in general while minimizing direct light on screens.

Temperature

Many businesses now opt to use air conditioning unities. This is because a giant 88% of all employees feel they work better when temperature is regulated. Sun shining in, or heat escaping from single glazed window panes can make your staff uncomfortable, and it can negate the good work of your technology. Simple window coverings will minimize the outside influences of the weather, perfect for midwinter and the height of summer.

Natural light

Natural light helps staff work. But, because of the copious problems it can cause many businesses are choosing spaces which lack this basic human need. A lack of natural light can cause feelings similar to clinical depression. Covering windows with frosted film also compromises light. Using adjustable office blinds allows some light to come in, while minimizing the problems caused, in other words they are the perfect compromise.

The Ultimate Strategy For International Air Freight Shipping

Gone are the days when physical boundaries and geographical locations created barriers. It’s the age of innovative transportation where businesses have the opportunity to reach out to potential consumers. Whether it’s a bulky electronics item or documents, you can opt for air-freight shipping solutions and get them delivered to exact locations. If you are running a business, all you need to do is develop a unique strategy for such transportation. That will help you send all the products to their desired addresses.

Identifying your needs

Do you know what are the prime requisites involved in International Air Freight Shipping? If you don’t, it is the high time to develop crystal clear ideas of the process. While looking for these services, make sure you know your needs and understand your requirements. It’s highly imperative to comprehend the technicalities as that is the key to executing critical operations.

Things to note

Before devising the strategies and implementing them, make sure you take note of the crucial factors involved in these projects. What’s your requirement in an overseas transportation project? Here are some of the factors that matter a lot when you plan to associate with the best International Air Freight Shipping service providers:

Services and solutions

Does your chosen partner offer 24*7 support assistance? Overseas shipping and deliveries require profound attention, care, and professional handling. You must take a look at the services offered by the top companies before finalizing the associations!

Cargo deliveries

Your cargo should reach on time as that will prove your service excellence. Timely cargo deliveries are of paramount significance for a company and it instills trust and reliability to a great extent. When it boils down to executing cargo transportations, make sure your chosen partners have the right resources in place.

Cost factors

Choosing the top companies can be affordable too. Most of the people think that partnering with a reputed freight shipping firm can be expensive, but that’s not the truth. It’s imperative to check the service costs and their solutions. That will give you a complete idea of their services.

Finding the leaders

Always look for the top service providers, as they always come up with a host of solutions for clients. Check their experience, market reputation, and several other factors that make them the true leaders. The best companies will have services for one and all. That’s what makes them the pioneers.

Factors to consider

If you are planning to get in touch with leaders, here are some of the factors to care about:

Experience: Always get in touch with experienced companies as they have in-depth knowledge of the market.

Expertise: Professional expertise is of huge importance and you shouldn’t compromise in this regard. Check whether your chosen partners are aware of the technicalities.

Services: When the international shipping, you should opt for the perfect solutions. Know about the services offered by the chosen companies and then take the final decision.

Parting thoughts

Once you analyze these aspects, you will surely get in touch with the top shipping and transportation partners.

Tips To Help You Find Cute Homecoming Dresses For Your Party

The homecoming party is supposed to be really exciting and a time to have fun. Every girl attending the party must feel confident, unique and be ready to have happy moments. Choosing a cute dress can go a long way in helping you have the best homecoming party ever. It could actually make you the center of attraction in the entire party.

There are tips that could help you choose the best homecoming dresses in a very simple way. These include:

1. Always Search For Your Dress Early

Rushing through the internet can be frustrating if you really need the best homecoming dress for your party. It could actually ruin your party! Go through the magazines and various websites, and even watch celebrity red carpet at least three or two months before the party, and evaluate the options available for you. Further, always budget as early as possible; so that you do not end up missing out on your favorite dress just because you did not have money to pay for it.

2. Know Who You Are

Just because a dress is suitable for one person you had seen somewhere, it does not mean that it will be perfect for you. Always go for your own unique designs that bring out the best in you. You may need to consider your body shape and height, and hence choose the suitable dress. For instance, curvy people should go for the A shape dresses, while slim people may want to consider a sheath style dress. Short people who may finding it difficult to find a sizeable cocktail dress can go for a short dress which is long on them. Professional designers can help you to understand the right type of dress with careful consideration of your body shape and height.

3. Do Not Forget The Shoes And Accessories

It does not make sense to put all your effort in shopping for a perfect dress and then forget all other facts like accessories and shoes. Find jewelry, bag, and shoes to match to your cute homecoming dresses 2014 early in advance. This way, you will achieve that perfect look during the party.

4. Clarify On The Delivery Time

Your dress should be delivered to you a few weeks before the homecoming party. This way, you will have a chance to try it on, and make alterations if need be. If you are shopping for the dress online, it is important to confirm with the vendors about the delivery dates even before you make your orders.

It is not difficult to find perfect and cute homecoming dresses. With little research and following the tips above, you will have a chance to find the best dress that will help you make lasting impressions during the party.

Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence

Read the following points below:

1. Companies are aggressively moving to computerized support of their organizations. Can you list at least 2 of the factors driving this move?

• Speed and efficiency.
• Legibility and accuracy.
• Self-sufficiency.
• Cheaper research and development.

2. The definition of Business Intelligence (BI) is:

BI is an umbrella term that combines architecture, tools, databases, analytical tools, applications and methodologies.

What does “umbrella” term mean?

The definition of Business Intelligence (BI) encompasses various software applications used to analyze an organization’s raw data. The discipline entails many related activities, including data mining, online analytical processing, querying and reporting

3. Sometime we say that the term Business Intelligence (BI) is “context free”. What does this mean?

The term business intelligence is “context free” in the sense that the expression means different things to different people. For this reason, we have seen researchers advancing different definitions for business intelligence.

4. Describe what a data warehouse is and how it might differ from a traditional database used for transaction processing.

A data warehouse is a central repository for corporate data and information that an organization derives transaction data, operational systems and external data sources. Although these two may look like they are similar, they exhibit several differences with regard to usage pattern, architecture as well as technology. A traditional database is based on operational processing while a data warehouse is based on informational processing.

A data warehouse focuses on storage, filtering, retrieval and analysis of voluminous information.

A traditional database is used for day to day operations while a data warehouse is used for long-term informational requirements.

5. What is the difference between a data warehouse and a data mart?

A data mart is a subset of a data warehouse that relates to specific business line. Data marts are managed by a specific department within an organization. On the other hand, a data warehouse involves multiple subject areas and assembles detailed information from multiple source systems.

6. What is meant by “Big Data”?

Big data refers to a huge volume of structured, semi-structured and unstructured data from which viable information can be extracted. This kind of data is so voluminous that it cannot be processed using outmoded database and software techniques. Big data helps organizations to improve their operations and be in a position to make quick and smart decisions.

7. Data mining methods are divided into supervised and unsupervised methods. What are these and how are they different?

Supervised data mining method has to do with the presentation of fully labeled data to a machine learning algorithm. On the other hand, unsupervised data mining methods conduct clustering. Data instances are divided into a number of groups.

Unsupervised data mining methods do not put emphasis on predetermined attributes. Moreover, it does not predict a target value. Instead, unsupervised data mining finds hidden structure and relation among data.

Supervised data mining methods are appropriate when there is a specific target value that I to be used to predict about data. The targets can have two or more possible outcomes, or even be a continuous numeric value.

Supervised data mining methods the classes are known in advance while in the other the groups or classes are not known in advance. In supervised data mining methods, data is assigned to be known before computation but in unsupervised learning Datasets are assigned to segments, without the clusters being known.

8. When we consider KPI’s (key performance indicators) we distinguish between driver KPI’s and outcome KPI’s. What is the difference between the two (give a couple of examples of each)

Key performance indicators provide a framework on which organizations can value their progress. Outcome KPIs which are also referred to as lagging indicators measure the output of previous activities. On the other hand, driver KPIs/leading indicators measure the activities that have a significant on outcome KPIs. Driver KPIs have a significant effect on outcome KPIs, but the reverse is not necessarily true.

9. A BSC (balanced scorecard) approach for BPM (business process management) is well-know and widely-used. Describe the strengths of a BSC approach.

BPM entails activities

BPM involves activities like automation, remodeling, monitoring, and analyzing and improving business processes.

Cost efficiency

This is one of the most palpable benefits of BPM approach. It cuts down on costs and increases revenue. BPM adds crucial value in the long run by allowing businesses to compete globally. BPM technology equips a business to switch gears and respond to changing business environment appropriately.

Agility

Change is inevitable in business and a business must be ready to undergo sudden changes at any time. BPM accords a business the flexibility of making changes at minimal costs.

Improved productivity

BPM automates several elements within regular workflows. Process improvements such as eliminations of drawbacks, elimination of redundant steps, and introduction of parallel processing are achieved through BPM. These process improvements allow employees to focus on other important activities of their business since the core support functions would have been handled.

Better visibility

Basically, BPM uses advanced software programs to facilitate the automation process. These programs enable process owners to keep abreast of their performance. Apart from guaranteeing transparency, BPM keep track of how processes work without the need of monitoring techniques and extensive labor.

10. A closed-loop process is often used to optimize business performance. Briefly describe what a closed-loop process means.

A closed-loop process, also referred to as feedback control system is a management system that promotes a well-organized base of preferred outcomes and system feedback. This process is designed to achieve and maintain the desired output in comparison with the actual condition.

The Pros And Cons Of Working In Serviced Offices

Many industry experts never fail to remind business owners about the importance of always creating and maintaining a good and solid impression. And there are many recommended ways to do this. But the process of establishing and sustaining a good impression usually starts with having an impressive business premise and address.

Having a really prestigious office or business address can certainly be easy if you have the money and resources to do so. However, there are many starting and start-up entrepreneurs who may not have enough money to do this or even if they do, they would rather invest such funds in other areas or aspects of their business such as in promoting or marketing their brand and in hiring and paying some new additional employees.

But having an impressive office in a highly prestigious location is now a more reachable goal today, thanks mainly to many innovative business and office solutions providers. And one of the more contemporary ways to have a remarkable office in a good location without shelling out too much money for this endeavor is by investing in serviced offices.

Serviced Offices

A serviced office is an office or work site that is fully furnished, equipped and ready for occupancy and use anytime by any interested party or entrepreneur. These offices are owned and managed by a serviced provider and you simply rent a space from them to carry out your work or run your business.

This innovative business solution offers entrepreneurs several attractive benefits but there are some disadvantages as well.

PROS:

  • You can give your business a good professional image. This specific type of office always boasts of stylish interiors and the building where it is located also has an attractive façade as well. Your clients or customers, partners or investors will be impressed by both the exterior and the interior part of your office since these are always well-maintained by the service provider.
  • Lease or contract flexibility. You can rent such an office for just a few months or even weeks but you are allowed to extend the length of your stay anytime. And in case you want to increase the space you are leasing, your provider can easily grant your request.
  • Marginal overheads. These types of offices do not require costly deposits and down payments.

CONS

  • A serviced office space will become quite expensive if you continuously rent it for long periods of time.
  • These types of offices may lack some unique and endearing aspects. These types of offices tend to be too uniform and traditional looking. And you may get tired of looking at or working at too common and unchanging, even boring designs and arrangements.

How to Know What Your Clients Want

For your business to be successful, it has to include an ongoing dialog between you and your clients.

Unless your business, your offerings, and your processes are informed by what your clients want, you end up, eventually, with no business at all.

More often than not, this is a matter of following the breadcrumbs. What you offer is snapped up by multiple clients right away = what they want. What you offer just lies there like an empty glove = not what they want.

If it’s the latter, then you either change what you offer, or you find new people to offer it to.

There is much to be learned too in casual conversations with clients. You get to be a detective, listening closely, and seeking out clues for what they are looking for. You probe and question to find out more.

Sometimes it’s an experiment. If you’re offering something really new and innovative, finding out whether it’s something your clients want is a matter of running a pilot, getting feedback, modifying, and offering it again.

One avenue for finding out what clients want is seriously underutilized. This method seems to be mysterious for many business owners. They sometimes don’t even think of it. Or they think of it, and dismiss it.

The mysterious method? Ask!

Directly approaching your clients to ask for what they want is a valuable adjunct to all the breadcrumb following, clue hunting, and incidental conversations that can bring you necessary information.

This is where social media can come in really handy. If you have a tribe that follows you, you can put it out there on Facebook or Twitter. It’s a quick way to get lots of feedback in a short time.

Got an email list? Send out a request for feedback on a specific question.

If you want direct feedback on an ongoing basis, conduct surveys. In my consulting business, I sent out a short survey after every project. That way, I could tweak my approach and offerings before they got too far off track.

Surveys are best approached the same way you approach marketing: from the client’s point of view. Ask about the client’s experience of both what you delivered and how. If anything was less than outstanding, what was it and how could it have been better?

Surveys are also a chance to explore what else the client might need. What else could be offered?

Were they happy enough to refer you to someone else? If so, take names: find out who they would recommend you too, and contact the referral, if you have their permission.

It’s important that clients know that you’re doing something with all this information they’re providing. You can respond directly to the client and tell them how you’re addressing their concerns.

Some entrepreneurs are afraid to ask outright. They prefer to take the behind-the-scenes approach. It’s almost as if by asking up front, they are afraid they are admitting that something is wrong.

That kind of fear does not serve you, or your clients. You need to know what your clients are thinking and feeling about your business.

On large projects, ask at the midpoint how things are going. With what you learn, you can adjust and carry on.

This kind of connection can be very affirming for your relationship with your client. They’ll know that you really want to hear from them. It encourages them to say more.

No one is perfect, and there is always room for improvement. If you take that approach, improvement on an ongoing basis, you’ll always get better. You’ll always have more to offer. And your clients will thank you for it.

This mantra helps: progress, not perfection.

One important thing to remember: you always have the final say in whether or not you act on the feedback. It’s part of the dialog. You ask, you get feedback, you discern what’s right for you and your business, and you take action. Then the conversation starts again.

Ask what you need to know. It’s a good idea.

Your Business Needs Steady Cash Flow

The ability to make critical purchases from your vendors, pay down loans, and meet employee payroll has become a common problem among businesses across all industries. Cash flow has always been a major issue with all businesses and without positive cash in your bank your business could fail. By the time a business realizes their cash flow isn’t going to support their payroll, or pay vendors, the owners make rash decisions by going to companies/banks that can destroy their business.

If you realize your business is about to fall into this position, don’t panic. Review your financial situation with your accountant or CPA. But don’t act too fast. There is another option.

So what can you do to avoid this problem?

Before telling you the solution, let’s talk about the 3 things you should NOT do.

1- Bank Loans. If you think a bank will help finance your old or slow paying customers, well they are not.

2- Factoring Invoices or Receivables. Another myth. When companies rely on this method of cash flow, it just reduces your profits. Plus, once your invoices or receivables have been factored, most often this “third” party who now owns them will be so aggressive with your customers to collect the money that it can ruin your business by losing a customer.

3- Collection Agency. If all you want is someone to harass your customers, then call a collection agency. Odds are, they will just irritate your customers with strong-arm tactics that never work and here again you will lose another customer.

What you need is positive cash flow, right? Well you can have positive cash flow and retain your customers by using a reputable company that knows how to talk to your customers in a manner that will actually convenience them to make timely payments without losing them as a customer.

A credit management system can provide effective cash flow by acting seamlessly with your accounting department. This should NOT impact your accounting staff when handled properly. The slow paying customers and poor receivables from your accounting department should be quickly identified and presented to management in a timely manner. It is best you do not use a middleman, or off-shore calling, These will just hurt your business more because your customers know these types of calls who only want to collect the money, not help make a payment plan.

There are many articles to help find a good credit management resource. Do your research and seek out those that have a solid reputation and work with you as your in-house accounting department.

Make More Sales By Being Contrary

Here’s something I’ve been playing with, and my results have been pretty good, too.

A few months ago a friend was launching a big product with lots of cash prizes for the top affiliates. I knew there would be tons of affiliate competition, with every affiliate trying to out-do the others with bigger and better bonuses.

How to compete?

I decided not to.

Instead, I thought about what every affiliate’s bonus pages would look like: Highly polished, slick, professional, lots of graphics, videos, etc.

Odds are they would all start to look very much alike, right?

So I thought… what if I did something different?

What if my page looked like something you might get in the mail – black and white sales letter, using the Courier typewriter font, very old-school looking…

And what if, instead of a highly polished professional photo of myself, I used one where I just woke up? Or one where I just finished exercising, or just finished the yard work?

In other words, I looked like the guy next door and not some slick marketer.

Taking this thinking to the next level, I decided I didn’t want to spend time or money on creating a bonus. Everyone else was doing that, so why should I?

Instead, I would hold a live class. The homework would be to go over the program before class. Then in class we would implement, step-by-step, what was in the program. And I would record the whole thing, so people could just follow along.

In case you’re wondering – it worked beautifully. My sales were a very decent 5 figure number, and my commissions were half that plus bonuses.

And one more thing – I cheated, too. I had my virtual assistant run the class for me. She got to learn some great new skills, and I put less than 2 hours into the entire project.

The takeaway: When you have a lot of competition, it’s time to stop directly competing and find another way.

If they are using tons of graphics and slick videos, you go with a 1980’s black and white typewriter look.

If they are offering bonus packages filled with 5, 10 or 20 products, you offer no products (I offered hold-your-hand training, which in my opinion is worth far more anyway.)

You get the idea.

Do you know what would work even better than that?

MAILING the actual letter. Yup. Talk about old school. If you collect real addresses of your BUYERS, you might consider doing this on big ticket items.

I know marketers who do this. They are few and far between, and they are KILLING it. They only mail to buyers, which greatly improves their conversions. They use a service to send out the mailers for them. And they make more on one of these mailings than most successful marketers earn in 6 months.

Which brings me to my second idea… if you don’t already have the mailing addresses for your buyers, start collecting those now.

When you have a sizable portion of them (at least 200, preferably 500) approach a marketer with a product your list would love. Make sure there is plenty of profit in that product. Take the sales letter, adapt it to a black and white mailer (cheap to produce) and send it to your buyers.

See what happens. Tweak, rinse and repeat.

You can easily DOUBLE your income using this method.

Know why? Again, because it’s contrary. It’s different. Almost no one is doing it.

Your customer gets maybe a half dozen pieces of mail in a day. Two are bills. Two are sales flyers from local businesses. One is a catalog.

And then there’s that mysterious white envelope. Yeah, it’s going to get opened. Yes, it’s going to get read.

There Are Many Reasons Why You Should Use Courier Services

When you use courier services, you can rest assured that you get convenience, reliability and security with each service they offer; whether you need to send a parcel to a recipient in the country or internationally, whether you use overnight services or same day services, with courier companies your parcel is in excellent hands and you will always know its whereabouts.

Courier services offer lots of options

With a courier service, your parcel can be sent the next day, on the same day, nationally as well as internationally. In fact, with an international courier you can send your parcel to practically any corner of the world, door to door. Courier services offer many different choices in terms of delivery and collection options and there are many different pricing structures to choose from as well, depending on your specific requirements such as the type of parcel, how urgent the delivery is, and the type of content.

You can always keep tabs on where your parcel is

Perhaps one of the best things about using a courier service is the fact that lost parcels are practically a thing of the past. The sophisticated tracking methods that are used by parcel services these days offer complete reliability and peace of mind. At any stage of the delivery process you can keep track of where your parcel is and whether it has arrived safely and securely. This enables you to inform your recipient about the expected delivery time and if you are unsure about what is happening with your parcel, you can either give your courier a call or you can go to their website, enter your parcel tracking number and you will have access to all the particulars of your parcel, literally at your fingertips, in real time.

More affordable than you think

There are many different courier companies which make the courier industry incredibly competitive and give the client the benefit of choosing the delivery options and pricing structure that best suits their needs, whether it’s for business deliveries or for personal parcel deliveries, locally or internationally, overnight or same day. The emergence of parcel booking agents and re-sellers means that your parcel collections and deliveries can be even more affordable than you ever may have thought possible.

With the courier service industry being such a competitive market with many national and international courier companies trying to get their hands on a piece of the pie and each one offering more sophisticated parcel services than the next; it may be hard to decide on which courier to use. It is important to do research before making a choice so that you get the best possible service at the most affordable prices.