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Planning for how to make this year your best year ever? Take some time to really clarify your Purpose and Vision for your business. These are two of the most necessary elements for pulling your business towards future success.

Business Strategy: Clarify Your Purpose And Vision

Business Strategy: Clarify Your Purpose And VisionWhether it's the beginning of a new year or we're half way through, you want it to be your best year ever. You are no doubt doing some planning for how to make that happen. You are doing some planning aren't you?I'd like to recommend you take some time to really clarify your Purpose and Vision.Clear purpose and vision are the keys to giving you a focus and direction. Unfortunately, that's something that is all too often lacking from small businesses. What you need to do is quite simple, but may challenge you if you've never taken the step before.Here are a few ideas to help you make this your best year ever.A clear purpose describes what you are out to cause with your business. Have you lost track of your purpose? Do you remember what led you to start or get into your business in the first place?* Three questions to ponder as you seek to re-ignite the purpose in your business:
What do you really want out of life?What do you really not want in your life?What would you be willing to give up in order to live the life you want?
Answer these questions honestly and build your business around the life you want to live. Talk about a purpose that would set you on fire.* Here's an idea for creating your vision. Think of the absolute greatest outcome that you can possible imagine that your best clients would really want from your service. Build your vision around being "the resource" that works to deliver that.* Examine your values and principles and then determine what you want your business to be in the future. Find your favorite way to relax quietly and let your mind open to dwell in what's possible.* Imagine yourself in a private movie theater watching a movie of your future self in 10 years. As the movie ends you notice you've been joined by the star of the show. Ask them any question you want about how they got to that place of great success in the movie. What was your future self's purpose and vision.This may seem silly to you at first, but if you open your mind up to accept that the visioning process will work, you'll be amazed at the answers that will emerge.

Address Lables - Useful Tips

Address Lables - Useful Tips

Making address labels for letters and parcels can be a real chore. Its something that has stood in the way of all sorts of people, whether they are large-scale eBay sellers or simply office workers who need to post a big batch of letters.What you might not have realised, though, is that making address labels can be easy when you know how. The best way to do it is to compose your letters using a Mail Merge function in the first place, such as the one that comes with Microsoft Word. This means that your addresses are being stored not in the documents themselves, but in either a spreadsheet or a database. The documents then contain a field, which is a special area where the program knows the address should go.Once you have split your addresses from your documents in this way, you should find it much easier to make address labels. All you need to do is open a page and insert a lot of address fields, with a next record field in between each one to tell the software not to put in the same address twice. Word has a wizard to help you do this: just go to the File menu, then New, and then choose Mailing Label Wizard from under Letters and Faxes. Point it to your database, and you should be good to go.The final step in making address labels is a physical one. Sure, youve got your fancy software that can make mailing labels, but unless you want to cut the addresses out from pieces of paper and use tape or glue, youre also going to need to get some sticky labels and put them in your printer. You can obviously find them at any good office supplies or stationery store, but make sure to get a size that Word knows about, so it can lay the labels out correctly for you. You can check the label sizes Word has available in the last stage of the Mailing Label Wizard, after you point it to your database dont worry too much, though, as few manufacturers will bother to make labels in a size incompatible with Word.

Why Are Duopolies So Competitive?

Why Are Duopolies So Competitive?

A duopoly is a situation in which two firms control nearly all of the market for a product or service. Duopolies can be surprisingly competitive. If you remember that the price of a product or service is determined solely by the highest losing bid price and the lowest losing ask price, youll realize why a duopoly can be so competitive. A large number of inefficient competitors will have almost no affect on prices in the long run unless someone (either a government or a group of idiotic investors) is willing to continually finance unprofitable operations in an unprofitable industry (think airlines). Of course, there is always the fear of a price fixing scheme in a duopoly. Generally, however, that fear is unfounded. Human nature suggests a price fixing scheme is far more likely to occur in an oligopoly than a duopoly. Humans weight the fear of loss far more heavily than the greed of gain when making calculations about the future. In a duopoly, mistrust increases the fear of loss inherent to any price fixing scheme (namely, the other guy will stab you in the back). In an oligopoly, the diffusion of power and the lack of excess capacity at any one firm makes price fixing very attractive. Price fixing in an oligopoly is a much safer bet than price fixing in a duopoly. There are, of course, other reasons why a duopoly is very unlikely to result in a price fixing scheme. In addition to a healthy does of fear, there is an often unhealthy does of hate in duopolies. There is always just one scapegoat in a duopoly. Hatred is a personal emotion; if spread over too many objects it tends to wane away. Finally, theres the simple fact that both competitors in a duopoly are likely really big, really agile, really cutthroat players. The process leading up to a duopoly tends to be a sort of wolfing run, in which two pups are separated from the runts. Having said all that, price fixing is possible in a duopoly. Some duopolies are not the result of competition but of nationalization and privatization, although this is relatively rare since a nationalized monopoly wont often result in a lasting duopoly (it will either remain a monopoly once privatized or get crushed by new, private competitors). Finally, a price fixing scheme always makes more sense in a commodity business. After all, any product differentiation limits the degree to which general demand is applicable to specific competitors products. For example, Coke and Pepsi are highly differentiated products, at least when purchased in their specific packaging (physical differences or similarities are immaterial here; it is only the buyers belief that matters). I drink Pepsi, and I can assure you (however irrational it sounds) that no drop in the price of Coke would be sufficient to get me to stop buying Pepsi. There is almost no other tangible good about which I could say the same. So, clearly Coke and Pepsi are differentiated products, and theres very little chance of an effective price fixing scheme between them.

Types Of Work At Home Jobs

Types Of Work At Home Jobs

There are many options for someone wanting to work at home. The many types of work at home jobs means there is something for everyone. A person must first define what type of work at home job they want to find. This will make finding a work at home job easier. Sales jobs are one of the biggest work at home options. There are direct sales jobs where a person maintains an inventory and sells the items. A good example of this type of sales job is cosmetic sales Then there are sales jobs where the person sells products that are then shipped from the main company. Most often these types of jobs are referred to as affiliate programs. There are also opportunities to sell through online auctions. A different type of sales job is on the phone. The typical telemarketing job is becoming a popular work at home option. Sales are not for everyone, but those who work in sales find there is amazing money making potential.Another work at home job type is customer service. Many of these jobs are on the telephone. The typical work at home customer service phone job involves answering incoming calls from people wanting to order from catalogs or off a television ad. Customer service can also cover such niche jobs as psychic reader positions or adult phone line work.Writing is becoming a great market for work at home jobs. The market for website content is booming and many people are finding this type of work at home job suits them well. There are also resume writings positions and advertising writing. Writing work at home jobs cover a large range of industries and open up many possibilities.Typing jobs are becoming popular as well. For many of these positions experience is required because they are in set market areas like medical or law. Typing jobs are most often called transcription. There are not many opportunities in a work at home typing position for someone without training.These are four great examples of types of work at home jobs. Almost any job can be done from home with the technology available today. There are so many choices that a person having a basic idea of what they want to do is going to have an easier time finding a work at home job.

The Basics Of Starting An Online Business (Part 2)

There is much more to starting an online business than just having a product to sell and setting up a website. In order to turn this into a profitable business, you have to reach the customers. This means that you have to rank high in the search engines - at least in the top 20. If you are wondering why this is so, just think of the many times you searched for something on the Internet. How often did you continue pages the first two screens of results? If you are like most searchers, if you don't find what you are looking for in the first two pages, you try another search term.The words you write have a direct impact on how successful your online business will be. You have to be aware of keyword search optimization so that the major search engines will pick up your site. You can submit to the search engines for free, but the words you write will determine your ranking.When you have an online business, you can make money while you sleep. Your store is open 24 hours a day with customers from all over the world visiting and making purchases. Therefore, you need to have a secure way of paying for the products so that customers can use their credit cards and feel safe about doing so. Buying by credit card is the only way to be sure of getting your money online. If you sell products, ship them to the customers and wait to get your money by check or money order, you are running the risk of not getting paid at all or of receiving fraudulent checks. There are may businesses online that will process the credit card payments for a low monthly fee, which means you don't have to set up a merchant account of your own. PayPal and CCNow are two examples of these sites.You have to consider how you will get the products to the customers. Shipping charges are quite expensive, so you can add more to the cost of the product and offer free shipping to entice more customers to buy. Another option is to have shipping charges added to the total cost that the customer has to pay, but you must have this printed right on your website. Customers need to know this right up front.

Critical Guidelines You Need to Know Before Hiring Anyone

We dont like to think about people doing harm to ourselves or others. The reality, however, is that we live in a country with one of the highest rates of financial crimes, including embezzlement, fraud, theft, etc. And, thats just the beginning. Lets look at just a few statistics on what the FBI reports is the fastest growing crime in the US - employee theft: US Chamber of Commerce reports that $50 billion dollars are lost annually due to employee theft and fraud and that 20% of all businesses fail due to the same reason. According to an Ernst & Young Report, "White Collar Crime: Loss Prevention through Internal Control" companies lose 1% to 2% of its sales to crime -- most committed by, or in collusion with, employees.Employee theft, negligent hiring, sexual harassment, and workers compensation fraud are just a few of the liabilities an employer has to face in todays hiring environment.For example, an Arizona Fitness Club hired an unscreened applicant which resulted in the rape and murder of a female patron while she lounged in the sauna.Is it any wonder that employment screening has become mandatory? Not only do you want to avoid hiring criminals, dont you want to hire the right candidate who is most qualified for the job? All of this information can be ascertained through a proper background check from a company that knows what they are doing, and/or which can supplement an already existent screening program.Critical Tips When Choosing an Employment Screening CompanyWhen choosing an "employment screening" firm, look for longevity first with a track record that can be verified with numerous references from clients. Also look for professional memberships in organizations such as ASIS, SHRM, PIHRA, NPRRA, NAPBS, to name just a few. Do you have a complete knowledge of employment law? If not, your screener should know the laws involving the background screening process. It helps, if the firm you hire has an acute knowledge of negligent hiring, much in the way that an Expert Witness might know, since it will be the expert witness who exposes the shortcomings of any hiring loophole which created the environment for the negligently hired employee to have come aboard in the first place! Intimate, thorough and long-term knowledge of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is necessary, as well as the ability to testify for you in a court of law if need be or even better, keep you out of court!Does the prospective screener have knowledge and understanding of current HR Management systems? How about corporate Due Diligence programs or Factual Employment Screening programs that train people to find fraudulent applications and false identities? In short, can your vendor help keep you from unwanted litigation? Unless you or someone in your company is an expert in employment law, you are putting your company at significant risk. If you are using any of the multitudes of online databases that have become available recently, its not likely you are protected. Not only do these companies decrease your risk of exposure, they may even add to it. For example, lets say you are currently using an employment screener who does not require you to provide a signed release for each applicant. Sounds relatively harmless, doesnt it? The truth is what these companies have done is had you waive liability to them when you signed up for an account so they can avoid the time and effort it takes involved in this critical step. In the case of an audit, your company is responsible for producing a signed application and therefore liable if you dont have one on file. A good employment screener provides signatures for these audits and youll never even know when they occur. A typical lawsuit of this nature could cost your company six figures. Can you think of any good reason to take this kind of risk?Join us again in the next issue and well expose several common myths about background checks and give you the real facts such as what you must have including: a thorough candidate identification process, financial and driving history and hand-researched criminal court records. Well also show you how to use this information to make the best hiring decisions.

Summary

Planning for how to make this year your best year ever? Take some time to really clarify your Purpose and Vision for your business. These are two of the most necessary elements for pulling your business towards future success.