Why Isn’t Everyone Working From Home?

Most people today have the opportunity to work from home if they choose, however, like skydiving, working from home is not for everyone.

One person’s pleasure is another person’s poison.

If you do want to work from home, do you want online or offline, product or service, health related, information related, affiliate business? Etc,etc,etc. The list goes on and on. Find something that is of interest to you, this is very important, you must be passionate about your business, know your business inside and out, study and research about your products, services and opportunity, plus it’s good fun.

We are taught to do well in life, but not too well, because to be really successful you need to take risks and you don't want to do that, do you?

We are conditioned from an early age, do well at school, get a good job, marry, have children and not to rock the boat!

All the successful people around have definitely rocked the boat at some stage, they have done things where people have said, ‘What are they doing, are they mad?’ These people are in the minority, they want more, they need challenges, so they take risks, sometimes they win and sometimes they loose, but whatever happens they just keep on going, trying new things, investing in what seems like hopeless opportunities, but what makes this minority of people different is their will to SUCCEED.

Everybody can see these people succeed and fail, so everybody says, ‘Well I won’t be trying that it’s to risky’

The beauty of working from home opportunities is that you CAN try them out and risk very little. Some opportunities have trial periods so the risk is zero.

But be careful, you cannot eat a piece of chocolate by just smelling it!

People try to work from home, but they don’t really try, they sort of go through the motions without really committing to anything. A lot of people will start their home business and expect to be wealthy without doing anything different to what they done before.

If you keep doing what you have always done, you will keep getting what you have always gotten!

So if you’re happy with your lot in life, I’m happy for you, if however, you want more I wish you every success, deep down you know whether you want more from life, it’s now a case of , how bad do you want it?

Decide to succeed, plan to succeed, take action to succeed and you will SUCCEED!

Keep Dreaming And Never Quit

The Virtual Office – Run Your Business From Home

At one point in my career I found my self Chief Information Officer of a small start up company, struggling to make ends meet. We were burning $50,000.00 to $75,000.00 per month and not quite making that in *gross* sales.

We were depending on investors to fund the business and investors were getting harder and harder to find. It looked like our little business was not going to make it.

After crunching some numbers I determined that we could cut expenses into less than half if we would let everyone who was not critical to the business go and more importantly, close down the office and run the business 'virtually'.

At first the executive team balked at the idea but I told them how we could do it and showed them how much we could save monthly by doing it. After careful consideration they agreed and our little business went 'virtual'.

After giving the employees the bad news we closed the office and each member of the executive team took home all files, equipment, etc. that was most pertinent to their job. We supplied our 'critical' employees with computers, software and equipment as needed.

Just before we left the office we set up a virtual PBX phone system. They're offered all over the Internet. You can do a search on one of the major search engines for 'virtual pbx'. The one I use now is GotVMail.com. It works pretty well for us and it's very inexpensive.

Most large businesses have automated pbx system these days so using this system doesn't make us look like we don't have a central office. You can even upgrade it if you prefer and use a live person to answer the phones. Those are also available in plenty. When a call is placed to the pbx system it is forwarded to the number we set up (like for sales, support, Bob Fischer, etc.) If the phone isn't answered the pbx system sends the call to that phone account's voice mail. The best thing about these pbx systems is that they're VERY inexpensive. We currently pay $35.00 to $75.00 per month and we even have an 800 number. Even though we all have phones and cellphones, the expense isn't nearly as high because our phones are not set up with the phone company as 'business' phones. Say it's a 'business' account and the monthly bill doubles or more.

Having the phone system covered we turn to the corporate information/file system.

Being the CIO I took all of the computer servers and the Internet connectivity equipment home. I set up an adequite Internet connection to my house (again, non-business) and ran all of our inter-computer networking and our Website over the Internet from my home. We set up a VPN (a secure) connection between our computers over the Internet so we could see them all just like we could if we were in an office. Secured directories on any computer were protected just as they would be in an office. For a 'central' file server I set up an FTP (File Transfer) site on our file server. Again it was fully protected against intruders but all of our people could access the central file system just as easily as if we were in an office.

As far as interoffice communication was concerned, we still used phones and email alot like we often did in the office anyway. For meetings we could use 'virtual meeting' software but we found that we much preferred to just meet at a restaurant and enjoy a (company expensed) bite to eat.

NOw our little business was running fully virtual. Everyone was working from home and I might add, *loving* it. Soon after we were under way we ran into a nasty problem. We learned that our employees (the critical ones who we highly depended on) found it too much of a temptation to watch TV or handle domestic affairs (being at home) rather than really dedicating the time we were paying them for to working for us. Gradually it got so that no live person would (almost) ever answer our phones. Our clients were not being taken care of. Sales was dropping (which was already a problem). We (I) started to think that I had made a mistake and that this was not going to work.

We had an executive meeting concerning the problem and determined that we had a choice: solve the problem or close our doors. We determined that we would do our level best to solve the problem.

The first thing we did was hold a corporate meeting (and treated everyone to lunch) and explain our problem to our employees. We told them flatly that if it didn't stop they would lose their jobs.

The second thing we did was to restructure employee pay. Salaries went *way* down but were subsidized with pay based on production. This was a little closer to piece work. The emphasis was not on how long they worked but more on how much they got done.

In addition to that we developed software to monitor their work. For every little piece of work they did they had to check a box or click a button on the computer to mark that it was done. If they didn't they didn't get paid for it. Of course we had to periodically check to make sure they weren't lying and for the most part they were honest about it. Sometimes more detailed information was required like selecting the client from a drop down or selecting specific services that were provided. Long story short, they had to record every part of their work to our database in order to be paid.

We developed reports of each of our employees' work so we could closely monitor them. We made some reports available to all our employees and some available only to specific employees. For example, our service team could always see what each other was accomplishing. Our sales team always knew who was selling what (with information restrictions like customer names, etc.). We set up 'senior' employees to monitor their subordinates (especially concerning voice mail messages to make sure the phones were getting answered) so we had a 'virtual supervisor' system in place.

So we knew, our employees knew (and knew that we knew) what they were doing at all times. Sure, like any business, we did have to let a few go and rehire but for the most part it worked *very* well. Our sales and operations were much better than it was, even when we were in the office. Everyone was accountable to the whole company for their actions. Good work was rewarded (mostly with money but also with promotions) and bad (or lack of) work was penalized (sometimes with the loss of their great 'work at home' job).

That little start up company is still in business and still struggling along. I question the overall business plan of the company but the virtual offices works *great*; much better even than I originally expected it to.

Since then I've noticed that a lot of businesses are beginning to let employees work at home. I have a friend who works for a large 'temporary personnel' company. She used to go into the office every work day. Now she works at home full time.

With the technology that is available today it is definitely feasable, in many cases even practical to run a business 'virtually', that is without a central office.

Home Business Remedies to Fit Your Busy Schedule

If you are pressed for time but still want to start your own home business, there are several possible solutions. Earning an Internet income doesn't have to be stressful - it can actually be fun. If your dream is to work at home while enjoying a lucrative Internet income, read below for some home business remedies to fit your busy schedule and financial needs.

Home Business Schedule

Even with a home business you should set a certain time aside each day to work on your business. Do your best to stick with a work schedule just as you would at any other job. If you plan to work eight hours per day, let this be the limit. Don't neglect your family and personal hobbies. You'll need some time away from your desk and/or computer to relax and clear your thoughts. Also, remember to exercise. Working on a computer all day can be detrimental to your physical health if you neglect daily exercise.

If working a part-time schedule, keep on track with your business and lifestyle by setting aside a few hours or one whole day each week to work. You might work at another full-time job while building your home business, so keep a healthy balance between the two and don't over-work yourself.

Save Time with an Internet Marketing Group

When working within a limited time frame, you won't have much time to promote your home business. Working with an Internet marketing group will help relieve much of this burden. An Internet marketing group will market the business for you, provide lead generation, and in some cases, even close the sale for you.

Another benefit is you can take advantage of their call centre where they will answer your customers' questions. With the free advertising they provide, your out-of-pocket expenses will be minimal. You'll be able to concentrate on other aspects of your business.

Use the Products of Others to Earn an Internet Income

Selling your own products takes time and money. You have to produce a product or service and take the time to ship products or to provide your own services. There are many companies online today that will allow you to sell their products for profit. You find the customers while they fulfill the orders. From affiliate programs to MLM products and drop shipping, your opportunities are limitless online.

Time-Saving Home Business Products

If you're thinking of selling your own products or services, choose products that require little investment and have a high profit margin. Informational products such as e-books are among the top sellers online today. E-books are downloadable so there's nothing to print or ship. Your customers can download an e-book immediately after the purchase from an auto-response email. Once this is set up, you will be free to promote your home business. You'll only need to update the e-book from time to time.

Other time-saving home business products include high-profit crafts or items you can make from your own home, Web services such as web design or graphic design, Internet marketing services, training materials, books, and many others.

Remember, find a home business that suits your lifestyle. Choose a business that you enjoy and use the tips above to maximize your Internet income while saving time for your personal life.

Asset Disposal in Greater London

The UK's government are currently attending a UN conference on climate change and trying to find ways to curb our greenhouse gas emissions.  At the same time, London's Mayor is attempting to curb excessive waste disposal by Businesses and corporations.

The mayor has implemented a number of recycling initiatives to reduce waste.  This year alone the Congestion charge was extended to cover greater London .  The aim is to increase the amount of waste being recycled from the 20 percent predicted in 2003 to over 60 percent.

Londoners produce 3.4 million tonnes of rubbish each year, a large proportion of which is electrical and electronic waste. The implementation of the WEEE directive in 2007 aimed to curb this problem by getting us to recycle our old Televisions, computers and general electrical waste.  In Greater London, where businesses predominate,  the issue of waste electronic equipment is more predominant and constitutes the majority of hardware disposed of each year.

London businesses are constantly uprgading computer systems, buying replacement shredders and replacing out-of-date photocopiers, faxes and printers.  The waste by-product was previously discarded in the general waste stream, which ended up on a barge heading for an incinerator further down the Thames Estury.

The Recycle for London initiative, founded by and headed up by the Mayor of London, was implemented to help reduce this waste.  Long before the WEEE directive came into force, London businesses were recycling their paper, plastics and toner cartridges.  The WEEE directive meant that it became a legal requirement for offices to recycle their old electronics as well.  In Greater London, this has had the impact of many new Companies springing up to meet with the demands of the thousands of businesses needing to recycle their old computers, servers, faxes, photocopiers and printers.

It's also had the added effect of reducing the work carried out by waste disposal firms in London, which are funded by Council taxes.  The result, in the long term will be a redistribution of the cash gleaned from taxes into more urgent sectors.

Advice on employing a company’s service

As a partner in National Service, one of the Uk’s fastest growing business directories, one of my jobs is to oversee the inclusion of company’s who offer a truly National Service. With this in mind here are top tips for employing the services of a company.

Looking for a good tradesman or service can be a daunting task with many risks. If you are having difficulty knowing where to start, hopefully this advice will help you to make sure you get the right person for the job.

Dealing with an established firm helps with any trust issues. Established firms will be members of a reputable trade association.

Ensure that the company have a genuine office address, check their given telephone numbers and that they use headed note paper.

Recommendation/ word of mouth are usually the best way to find a service provider.

Asking your friends and family to recommend a trader that they have used and are happy with is of great value.

If this option is not available to you then it is advisable to ask the trader for any references that they have or the names of previous clients

.

If it is possible to do so look at their previous work or any feedback section that they may have to ensure that the work carried out was done professionally and that their previous clients were satisfied with the work.

Make sure that a VAT number is shown on paperwork or relevant correspondence (e-mail for a quote etc) if VAT is being charged

As mentioned above make sure that they are a member of a reputable trade association.

Ensure that you specify exactly the service that you want provided and when you are happy that you will be receiving that service get a written specification and estimate.

Don’t be embarrassed to get more than one estimate and make your choice based on the guidelines written here.

Always make sure that you agree any stage and final payments before the work starts because changing your mind during a job will add to the time it takes and to the overall costs.

It is important to ask for an insurance-backed warranty for any work that has been undertaken.

Things to be wary of when employing a company’s service.

So called specialists that use high pressure sales, people that will not take no for an answer.

Make sure that you understand everything that you have heard and read before you put your signature to anything.

Avoid any advance payments, particularly at the start of the job and any demands for cash payments as you could be putting yourself at risk from rogue traders.

If things do go wrong then here are some suggestions that you may find helpful.

Don’t be afraid to speak to your tradesman and tell him that you are not happy with the work done and try to resolve any problems as soon as possible. Put your complaint in writing if your tradesman does not sort things out after you have spoken to him.

If this still remains unresolved then you will need to seek further advice and depending on the problem  you can consult the Citizens Advice Bureau, Trading Standards, a solicitor, or Trade Association.

Here Are Some Tips to Avoid Telephone Fraud

Fraudulent schemes range from peddling water purifiers, vitamins, and make-up kits to stock investments and abusive "900" numbers. According to the Alliance Against Fraud in Telemarketing (AAFT), Americans lose an estimated $40 billion each year to telemarketing fraud. Con artists and swindlers use the telephone more and more as their "weapon" to hold up victims.

If a sales pitch sounds too good to be true, just hang up. If you don't, you may become the next victim of telephone fraud.

Top Phone Scams

While some of the following products and services can be and are legitimately sold by reputable telemarketers, the Division of Consumer Protection has identified seven areas where fraud can occur and does the most damage to the consumer's wallet:

Free Prize Offers: If you receive a phone call that you have won a free prize, be cautious! Usually there are conditions to securing those offers such as substantial handling fees, shipping charges, membership fees and/or the purchase of other merchandise.

Ask the telephone solicitor what the prize is worth. It may be of little value, and it may not be worth the money you will have to spend to receive it. A "contest" or an offer of a "free" prize or gift is only a sales tactic. No one is in business to give things away. Look for strings attached. Telemarketers must be registered with the Division of Consumer Protection. Call the Division to verify current registration.

Charitable Solicitations: Telephone solicitation is one method used by charitable organizations to raise funds from generous consumers. Unfortunately, fraudulent charitable operators may call you, too. State law requires charities to inform donors if they are registered with the state, what the permit number is and what percentage of your donation will actually go to the charity. Call the Division of Consumer Protection to verify the information they give you.

When you make a donation, it is a good idea to pay by check and make the check out to the organization, not the person collecting the donation. Be cautious of organizations that pressure you to pledge money on the spot or tell you they will send a representative immediately to your home to pick up your donation. A legitimate charity will gladly accept your donation today, tomorrow, or a month from now.

Travel Offers: It can be quite tempting to purchase a bargain-priced travel package over the telephone, but be careful. Many of these scams operate by enticing people to join "vacation clubs" or offering consumers "free trips." Often the vacation club or free trip has many hidden costs or conditions attached. Your bargain or free trip could end up costing you a lot of money.

Investment Fraud: Many unsound investment opportunities are peddled over the telephone. Fraudulent sales pitches usually involve such statements as "you must act now," "there is no risk" or "this must be kept a secret." Promoters will often try to make you feel guilty or silly for asking questions or exhibiting doubt. Stop and think before you quickly turn your money over to an investment promoter calling on the phone. Ask for written information. And, if you are receiving undue or uncomfortable pressure, or if other "warning flags" arise during the conversation, hang up.

"900" Numbers: When you call a "900" number, you are charged either a fee for the number of minutes you are on the phone or a flat fee for the entire call. These fees can add up rather quickly after you have spent more than a few minutes on the telephone.

Some services will keep you on the line for an extended length of time before you get all of the information you called for, making it a very expensive phone call. Find out the costs of the call before you make it, and never call any "900" numbers that doesn't disclose the costs up front.

Recently, unscrupulous telemarketers began transferring calls made to toll-free "800" numbers over to "900" numbers. This improper practice makes it more important today then ever before to know who you are calling. You should also listen carefully to any recorded information at the beginning of the call.

Advance-Fee Loan Scams: These scams often target people who are out of work or have poor credit ratings. Con artists promise "guaranteed" loans, no matter what your credit rating is, in exchange for an up-front processing or application fee. You may wait weeks or months to find out credit has been denied and the processing fee is not, as promised, refunded. Or, you may never hear from the company again, and may even find the company is withdrawing from your credit card or checking accounts using information you disclosed over the phone.

Credit Repair Schemes: If you are having a problem getting credit, you may be tempted to listen to telephone solicitors who advertise quick and easy solutions to credit problems. Unfortunately, in many cases, these companies take your money and do little or nothing to improve your credit history. Credit repair companies cannot remove bad credit information from your files. If there are genuine mistakes on your credit file, you can remove them yourself--for free. Credit repair companies must be registered with the Division of Consumer Protection. Call the Division to verify their registration.

Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck

What would happen if you lost your job today? What if you needed money for a medical emergency? Most people would be in trouble. Living paycheck to paycheck has become a way of life for most Americans. You do not have to live this way. Saving money is easy if you just follow a few simple steps.

List Your Expenses

If you do not know where your money is going, you are in big trouble. It is impossible to save until you write out your monthly expenses. Look at your past months bills to see where your money went. Chances are that you will find that you wasted much of your money on unneeded expenses. Did you really need to buy those movies for $20 each when you could have rented them for $5. How many days a week do you eat out? If you do not have receipts for all of your expenses, estimate what you spent.

Write a Budget

List your necessary monthly bills and budget a set amount for variable expenses like entertainment. Be sure to include savings into your budget. One or two hundred dollars a month will add up over time. If you have credit card debt, budget higher than your minimum payment. If you only pay the minimums, you will never get out of debt.

Set Goals

Set a series of savings goals. Make them realistic, do not make your first goal to save a million dollars. Set a goal to save $2000 dollars, then to save $5000, etc, etc. You will soon see that saving is addictive and you will enjoy watching your savings account grow.

Automate Your Savings

You cannot spend what you do not see. If your company offers it, have them deduct money from your check and put it into savings. If they offer a 401K program, take full advantage of their matching contribution.

Put Unexpected Money Into Savings

If you get a bonus from work, inherit money or make any unbudgeted cash, put it into savings. You don't need it to pay your bills so put it up for a time when you do need it.

Put Away The Credit Cards

Pay cash for purchases. If you cannot afford to pay cash for something, do not buy it. Credit card fees will eat you alive. You could very well end up paying for that pizza for 5 years.

Know How Much Money You Have

Balance your checkbook daily. When you think you have more money in your account, you tend to spend more. Be careful with checkcard purchases. It is easy to forget to record them and they do not always show up on your online banking statement immediately.

By following the steps above anyone is capable of breaking the paycheck to paycheck routine. It doesn't matter if you can save $500 a month or $50 a month. Eventually you will get there. All you need is a little patience and a bit of discipline.

Second Passports – How, Where and Why

Introduction - Our Law Firm gets numerous inquiries from clients around the world for second passports and second citizenships. Generally these programs require one to have a substantial sum of money that can be invested. The Panama Instant Passport program requires one to place about $175,000 in the bank in Panama for five years in return for $750.00 a month in bank interest paid monthly and a five-year passport, which includes a five-year residency. Not everyone has this much money to invest, even though they can decline to renew the program after five years and just take their money back making the program practically free.

The concerns with this program are what if the program is not available in five years? What if the program requires more money at the end of five years to renew? Will I need to present another passport to renew this passport at the end of five years or can I renew based on the Panama Passport? We do not know what the renewal requirements will be in five years. This has caused us to come up with alternative measures for those wanting to leave their home country and start all over with a new residency, citizenship, passport, driver license, bank account and Visa card. This is essentially a new start.

South American Passport Free Travel - In the European Union one can travel around the various countries based on a National Citizenship or Permanent Residency Identity Card. This eliminates the need for a passport unless one is going to travel on an airplane or out of the EU. Some air travel may be possible without a passport in the EU. What most do not know if that South America is also operating this way.

Why South America - A number of reasons. The real estate is most affordable. The medical is great and cheap with insurance available for most. Hospitals may be better than what you are used to. Doctors make house calls. Dentistry is affordable for almost all. Food is basically pure as in organic and cheap. Cars cost about the same. Governments are stable, some more than others but homeless people; people living in cars, etc are absent for the most part. A live in maid runs $120 to $250 a month. A full time driver runs $150 to $325 a month. Crime is lower than North America or Europe. Gun ownership is real easy in some countries. Prescriptions can generally be bought without a prescription with few exceptions like heavy pain and sleeping pills. Most of these countries we deal with will not tax money coming in from outside of their country. Some have some form of bank secrecy. Freedom is high; taxes are for most of you going to non-existent in the new country. These countries have criminalized businesses and the governments tend to focus on real crimes. South America by and large has poor relations with many of the high tax, privacy invasive countries. South America is even starting its own IMF and World Bank called Bank Sur, Bank of the South. Actually it is already open. South America is the place to go for a fresh start. It has everything you have now and then some. You will probably live calmer and better.

Differences between The European Union and South America - Some of you may think well why don?t I go to the EU for a residency. Most of what the client is trying to get away from is going to be present in the EU and even more so. There is a severe loss of privacy. Bank secrecy and corporate secrecy is generally just a memory. Taxes have reached the 80% mark in some of the European countries, admittedly there are some social services available but for you in the high-income brackets this sort of taxation would be torturous. Plan on offshore income being taxed and at high rates. Plan on really invasive filing requirements. Plan on paying high VAT rates in addition to other taxes, think 25%. Real estate prices are going to be at least four times higher than South America and in some cases much more than that. Lawyers can run wild there since actions concerning events in one country can be collected in any of the EU countries. Forget asset protection in the EU. The cost of living is generally higher than from where you came from. Weather conditions are generally not tropical or even semi-tropical but they are good for snow skiing and ice-skating. Crime is present in significant levels. I do understand that not all countries have all these factors in play at the same time.

Andes Community of Nations - This is essentially a trade block in South America consisting of: Bolivia, Columbia, Peru and Ecuador. These countries allow cross border travel if one has a residency ID card from any of these countries and they also extend the privilege to those holding a residency ID card from any Mercosur country including associate members. (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela).

Mercosur - Mersocur is another trade block in South America that allows those holding resident ID cards to cross borders without a passport. Mercosur consists of Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Venezuela.

South America Passport Free Travel - This means that one can travel passport free in these 10 countries - Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela, Bolivia, Columbia, Peru and Ecuador.

Residency Advantages - Getting a residency ID card from some of these countries is a process that requires as little as 30 days. Usually a temporary card is issued which becomes permanent in about six months. It is usually required to get a letter with the temporary card stating that the permanent card has been applied for to enable cross border travel with the temporary residency card. This is easy to obtain. Getting a Passport is generally time consuming the exception being the Panama Instant Passport Program, which requires 60 days. Many of the economic Citizenship programs take six months or longer to get a passport and the investment required is usually in excess of $350,000 and this is not money that you get back someday like the Panama Instant Passport Program.

Residency Country Time Requirements in Country- Generally it requires about 30 days initially to apply when you must remain in the country. Please bear in mind this can vary from country to country. Usually you will need to return for a few weeks to pick up the permanent residency card. You should plan on spending several weeks a year in the country until you get your passport. Down the road two to five years later.

Getting to a Passport - It can vary from country to country. The least amount of time is one has to have a permanent residency for two years and in other countries it is three years or five years. REMEMBER you can always obtain the Panama Passport, which is good for five years in sixty days. Then you have a five-year passport, which will carry you over until the South American country issues you a passport.

Time Spent in the Other Participating Countries - You would be allowed to stay for very long periods of time, months if not years. You would be free to come and go just by presenting your ID card. You could live in any of the other listed countries, working would be a different matter that would need to be addressed on a country by country basis with legal counsel in the country since there could be a lot of variables involved.

Banking as a Resident - Once you have your permanent residency card which takes about six months, opening a bank account in the country without being required to show your old country passport will not be hard at all. When the residency is temporary the bank will want a passport from somewhere. When you have your permanent resident card opening bank accounts should be easy without you needing to present your passport at the bank registering the account to a citizen of whatever country your passport is from. It helps to get a drivers license in the country which is generally a matter of just showing your existing one. You should be prepared with a local address and telephone when opening a bank account with just your residency ID.

Civil Collections in your New Country - Generally any existing civil debts should not follow you to your new country. We do always suggest banking in Panama through a Panama Private Interest Foundation or anonymous bearer share Panama Corporation. The Panama Foundation has superb asset protection features. The banks in Panama are world class, which is probably not going to be the case in the country granting you the residency. Panama has no tax treaty or civil judgment collection treaty with any other country. What would be advisable is to bank in Panama and transfer money to live on several times a year to your new resident country if you chose to reside there year round. In any event civil judgments, lawsuits etc. following you to your new residency country would be extremely unlikely. How would the creditor know where you are, you are banking with an anonymous foundation in Panama aren?t you. These countries are not tolerant of cross border civil processes.

Which Country - We work with several of the 10 countries and can vary the country to suit the needs of the client. Some clients want a country to live in cheaply, safely, with good food, weather and medical. Some want more of a metropolis type environment with lots of nightlife. Some seek beaches. Some want snow skiing. Talk to us; tell us what you need, that?s what we are here for.

Uruguay - This is our favorite. It is the easiest most direct way to get this residency for cross border travel. There are several easy to meet the residency requirements. You can start a business in a duty free trade zone and employ yourself. You can show proof of income like bank statements, this is not retirement income just any income like self-employment income, rental house income, investment income etc. You can buy or rent a house. You can deposit money in the bank ($5000.00). Easy to qualify with several different options available.

General Requirements - You will need a police clearance letter. You will need to undergo a thorough physical in Uruguay. You will need a passport, birth certificate and marriage certificate. You will need birth certificates for minor children and spouse. You will need to be able to obtain a Visa to travel to Uruguay.

Name Changes - We do not get involved with name changes. If you really want to draw attention to yourself this is the way to do it. This is the biggest red flag you can wave. Numerous agencies and governments around the world pick up name changes. If you need a name change consider applying after you have your permanent residency for some time not as a new applicant, but again we do not get involved in name changes so you would down the road need to do it yourself or retain a local attorney for assistance.

Police Records - If you have a police record you may be eligible to apply. It would depend on a number of variables such as the time the offense occurred, the sentence, the offense and the country. Things that would be difficult to get approved would be criminal sentences with more than one year in prison, convictions for drugs, money laundering, weapons trafficking, terrorism, sexual offenses involving force or minors, and crimes of violence. Feel free to discuss this with us if you like. No one knows what will happen until the complete application is presented to the immigration authorities and a decision is made. We cannot ask them for an opinion without them seeing the full application. A criminal record could result in a denial of the application.

Will You Appear Personally in the Immigration Office - The answer is yes. They will fingerprint and photograph you. They will check with Interpol. You will have a local attorney with you who speaks English and Spanish so no translation worries. Your Residency ID card will be picked up by you and the local attorney at the immigration offices. You will be posing for the photo at the immigration office. These are above board programs that all run through the immigration department of the country. It will all be done in a large official government building in the country.

Extradition Considerations - If you are under arrest, under indictment or criminal charges, out on bail or bond, or already convicted and trying to flee before reporting for sentencing these programs are NOT for you. We cannot help you at all in any way shape or form. You would fail the police records check and Interpol would flag you. This would result in you being turned over to the authorities in the country the offense was from. You would only have tourist status in the country you were applying in, since the application would not yet be approved and tourists get no special considerations under these circumstances. No UN country wants to provide safe harbor to fleeing or wanted criminals. If one country did it then many would do it and then a cross border crime wave would be the result. This does not happen.

Extradition exclusions or protections generally apply only to a citizen or permanent resident AND they must have had that status BEFORE the time the crime was committed. There are usually exemptions for drugs as well so narcotics cases may be extraditable. When the country denies extradition it usually offers to prosecute the person for the crime in his or her own country using their own justice system. This is often a farce since the other country will have to mobilize lawyers to prepare for the trail and attend it, plus bringing in witnesses and evidence to that country. Even then the courts or jury may be most reluctant to hand down a guilty verdict. In any event extradition requests are based on treaties called Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties between countries. So one must read the individual treaty the two countries in question have signed to begin to understand some of the factors that come to bear. Then comes the publicity, severity of the crime and so forth, which seem to also at times work their way into things one way or another. Some of these treaties have an element of dual criminality in them. This generally means that the crime in question must be a crime in both countries. This prevents things like religious, political and racial discrimination from being prosecuted that the person would not be subject to in their own country. Remember if the crime occurred before the residency or citizenship was granted it generally leaves the door open for extradition, but again this too is not an absolute. We do not specialize in extradition cases nor do we take them.

Costs - This is going to vary from country to country. Plan on a fee of $14,000 for Uruguay. You would have additional fees for certifying documents, photos, travel, housing, filing fees (generally nominal under $500) and so forth. These extra costs are usually not a major consideration.

Five tips and tricks for using Word for business

Most people don't use all the features of their software. We tend to pinpoint the most helpful and stick with them.

Here are five features in Microsoft Word that could save you time and money.

Create and Design Your Company's Letterhead, Templates and More

Every business needs an official letterhead. You don't have to buy it. If you know what you want you can create it in Word and save it as a template to

use time after time.

A letterhead doesn't have to be complicated. It can be as simple as the company name, address and telephone number. Word provides lots of fonts,

and you can change the size and style.

You may want to add art. You can scan in your logo and use it. Or alternatively make use of Microsoft Office's Clipart Gallery. There you'll find

thousands of royalty-free images available to users of (http://www.microsoft.com/india/smallbusiness/office2003.mspx-Microsoft Office.

)

Microsoft also offers free templates for letters, labels and forms. They can be found in the Template Gallery.

Send the Same Letter to Many People Without Addressing Each Separately

Word's Mail Merge makes it easy to send the same letter to lots of different people.

It uses a list of names and addresses from a table. You can create the table in Word, Access (a Microsoft database program) or even Outlook. All are

part of Microsoft Office .

This works best with planning. You have many options; this example uses Excel but there are other ways to achieve the same thing.

Start by writing your letter. The same letter goes to everyone; you can't do much customisation. When you write it, leave space for the person's

address and the salutation.

When setting up Excel , you need the person's name and address. You'll also need a salutation field. If Rocky Jones is one of the people receiving the

letter, you might want the salutation to be Dear Rocky. If your relationship with Dr. Rocky Jones is more formal, the salutation might be Dear Dr. Jones. So

the names in the Salutation column would be "Rocky" or "Dr. Jones."

Now open your letter. Go to Tools > Letters and Mailings > Mail Merge Wizard . Follow the instructions on screen. You can

also make things easier by addressing envelopes and labels with Mail Merge.

Add a Watermark to a Document so Everyone Knows it's a Draft

If you are circulating a proposal to your staff, you don't want it mistaken for the finished product. A good way to avoid that is a watermark that says

"Draft".

A watermark is clearly visible on the document but does not damage the legibility of the writing. You can use text or a picture, black and white or

colour.

To use a watermark, go to Format > Background > Printed Watermark . Make your selections and click OK. If you expect to

use a watermark regularly, create a template (see above).

Be careful not to go overboard. There's a fine line between cool and irritating. If the watermark makes a document hard to read then people just won't

bother.

Keep an Eye on Changes that People are Making to Documents

When a document is returned to you, it can be difficult to see changes made by others. Word will highlight them so you can see what's been altered.

Here are the instructions for Word 2002/ 2003:

• First, open the newer Word document.

• Click Tools > Compare and Merge Documents .

• Browse to the original Word document.

• Click it once to highlight it.

• In the lower right corner, click the drop-down box and select "Merge Into Current Document."

For Word 97 and Word 2000:

• Click Tools .

• Go to Track Changes .

• Click Compare Document .

• Find the original Word document and click it once so it is highlighted.

• Click Open .

Sometimes developing a document is so arduous that we lose sight of what we're trying to do. Looking back at older versions can help.

That's easy to do in Word. Click File > Versions . Select "Automatically save a version on close." Every time you close the

document, that version will be saved.

When you want to look at an old version, follow the same path. All of the versions will be listed in the box. The most recent will be on top. Highlight the

version you want and click Open.

You can turn off this "versioning" feature by clearing the check mark from "Automatically save a version on close." Or, you can delete individual

versions. Just highlight the ones you want to lose and click delete.

Choosing the Right Prepaid Calling Card in Making Calls

If you are a student, travel a lot or living abroad and you would like to always keep in touch with family and friends, there will be no better way but to give them a call. How enjoyable it is for you to hear their voices and share things with them.

If you want to keep in touch and to do long distance calls, prepaid calling cards are the answers. With the use of prepaid calling card, you can save money and can cut your phone bills in half and it can help you track your calls.

Indeed, using prepaid calling cards have lots advantages. In using prepaid calling card, you can stay with your budget. You also won’t be stressed out in thinking about the money you owe a company. With prepaid calling card, you can say goodbye with monthly bills and worries about the money that you need to pay for company for your accumulating outstanding balance.

There are so many prepaid calling cards in the market nowadays. But you do not have to simply buy one and use it without actually knowing the information about the prepaid calling card. There are some prepaid calling cards that come up with very cheap rates but you will be surprise with the surcharges and taxes midway. Many customers were lured with cheap prepaid calling cards, so be careful, do not let this happen to you too.

So how can you find the right prepaid calling card that can give you convenience and satisfaction? So just read on in order to have the answer.

If you do not want to waste your money in checking out the right prepaid calling card that can suit your needs, you can ask for referrals or recommendations from family and friends. Of course, these people will very much willing to help you out; they are open to criticism and also in giving you the best one for you.

You can also try to do simple research in finding it for your own you can use the internet in finding the right prepaid calling card. The best thing to do is to find a reliable company or site first. You can check out its reliability if the company or site can give you the necessary information or details about the prepaid calling card.

As soon as you find the right company or site, you can start searching for prepaid calling card. So if you are eyeing for a particular prepaid calling card, you can make an assessment in order to check out if it is the right one.

You can also try out the prepaid calling card by buying a small amount and find it for yourself if it is a good one, if it can give you the satisfaction and convenience you need.

If you could only give some of your time and effort in finding the right one, soon you can conveniently make calls any time and any where with the use of your prepaid calling card.

SEO 101: The Advantages Of Article Spinning

A lot of people make a living by writing articles on the internet, and there are a lot of sites and portals where a writers’ article is published and displayed. For experienced writers, the art of article spinning is a must-have attribute.

Article spinning is the method of taking one article and creating several different unique version of it through the use of special tags. Search engines regard each version of a submitted article as a unique article, and when submitted to article directories, it is imperative to have unique articles so that they are each indexed.

The term article cloning, which is also called or referred to as article spinning, or article rewriting, is a unique way of taking an original article and changing it so that it seems like a new article. This method or process is not really a bad thing if it is done by the original author or a public domain article rewritten manually, but could become muddled if done using an article cloning program.

Currently, there are several article cloning programs available, and according to article spinning analysts, they pretty much do the same thing, which is turn a good article into a bad one. However, some programs do work properly and effectively.

So exactly just what does an article cloner or spinner do?. Most cloners or spinners have options to replace certain words with comparable words that may, or may not mean the same thing, add blocks of text at the beginning, middle and end of existing articles and move blocks of text around. Article spinners may indicate that the replacement word list for the specific software used was not as good or effective as theirs.

However, most professional spinners would note that it would not matter which version of cloning software you use, it’s how you do the writing or spinning yourself. According to experts, nearly all words have many different meanings and can mean different things in whatever context they are used. Computers just aren't smart enough to know which meaning of the word or context the author is using it in, and because of this, the articles becomes mostly muddled or lack direction.

Observers also add that after cloning the article you are left with two choices, either to submit it as it is, or go thru the article and fix everything. Neither is a good idea if you consider that by cloning, then fixing the article, you've wasted more time than if you had simply written a new article. However, with the entry of new computer programs, articles can be spun effectively, spooled, or re-written automatically using good software.

But if you create a well-written article to begin with, and then use the software correctly as a guide or reference, the software can re-write it into hundreds or even thousands of unique, high quality pieces that you would be confident enough to put your name on. And additionally, they will be more than unique enough to avoid the duplicate content filters that abound.

If a writer wants to be successful, he or she should be able to get his or her well-written article onto hundreds or even thousands of other websites. To be profitable in writing articles for the internet, one needs to create uniquely written articles for each website, and get paid good sums for it.

Making your Franchise Business work

Buying a Franchise Business is not a get rich quick scheme. You have found the right opportunity, analysed the viability of the business, met the franchisor and signed the franchise agreement. Now the hard work begins.

The first year of managing your franchise business is often the hardest. This is when you will learn the core skills that are required to making your business opportunity successful. In the process you will also find out more about your own strengths and weaknesses.

Before you start any business the first question you should ask yourself is are you prepared for hard work? Unlike employment, you will have to be ready to deal with problems when and wherever they arise.

Are you ready to learn new skills? The franchisor will have provided you with initial training that all the franchisees need. Usually your training does not end there. Once you start running your business you will uncover gaps in your skills which need further training. It is imperative that you plug these gaps as soon as possible.

Remember that the franchisor wants you to succeed. Bearing this in mind it is important that you discuss your successes & problems with them on an ongoing basis. This will help to keep communication lines open and help you to deal with problems as they arise.

Keep in touch with other franchisees so that you can benefit from their knowledge which has been acquired through actually running the business. They will help you to avoid a lot of standard mistakes and guide you through most of the common problems that arise when running your business for the first time. It is generally a good idea to have a franchise buddy who has been running the franchise for many years as well as keeping in close touch with somebody who started just the same time as you.

You should make regular adjustments to your business plan as live numbers take over from projections. This will help you to budget accordingly. Keeping tight controls over your outlays is just as important as monitoring and enhancing sales.

Once you have started making money a new process begins. Now you have to decide how you want to proceed. Is it easier to increase business with your current franchise or is it now the time that you thought about buying another franchise?

Do your employees need further training? Well trained workers are the key to growing your business. Who knows, once you have well trained staff, you might not be needed at all to manage your business! One very important point to bear in mind is that if a member of staff is not right for the job, then it is important that you replace them immediately. You do not want to waste any time training the wrong people.

If you are happy with your current level of earnings then it is perhaps better to focus on managing your business more professionally so that you eke out the last bit of profit from the venture. Systemize everything that needs doing more than once and then?

Learn to delegate. I repeat, learn to delegate. Most new business owners are uncomfortable with giving orders. This is now your business and you are in charge. Your staff will respect you more if you manage your business correctly.

If you follow the above principals then you should be on the path to having a really successful business.

How to Avoid Business Disasters

Business disasters have a way of creeping up on you when you least expect it. Simon thought he had it all. A great full time job, wonderful partner, three beautiful children, a big home and a young but successful part-time internet business he was intent on building.

When his full time employer fired him out of the blue for poor quality work, he was devastated. He was unable to find another full time job, and his part time business was only young, and not able to support the family. His wife was pregnant with their fourth child, and they had no cash reserves. After six months, his home was going to be repossessed. This can happen to anyone.

Starting a part-time internet based business allows entrepreneurs to “test the water” and check to see if their business idea is viable, while still bringing in a full time paycheck. But you should watch out for pitfalls in this seemingly ideal situation.

Something to consider before you start your internet based business; will this venture conflict with the interests of your full time employer? If you are both looking for the same customers, then the answer is yes, and this is likely to raise problems. There may even be a non-competition clause in your employment contract.

Discuss your plans openly with your boss, assuming you do not pose a business threat to him. Explain how it will not conflict with his business, and that you will not skimp on time devoted to your day job. He may even view your acquiring extra business skills as positive, if you can apply them to your full time employment as well.

Make sure that you choose a business which is suited to a part-time operation. Some businesses, such as retail, are very demanding of your time, while others, such as being a consultant, can easily be managed with less time commitment.

You need to be an excellent time manager. Running a part time business which you are hoping to build over the years, whilst you are fully employed will test your organizational and time management skills to the limit. Family, chores and sleep may be big issues. It is easy to underestimate the commitment required for a successful part time business. Avoid making promises you cannot keep, whether to customers or to family and friends. Make sure that your plans are fully accepted and supported by those nearest and dearest to you. Ensure that they are aware of your time commitment to the project. Support can be as simple as filing, bookkeeping or packing up parcels.

The lure of the internet entices us to undertake multiple small businesses, particularly when we spot a real business opportunity, often in the form of a ‘must have’ domain name. Avoid this situation at all costs, unless you do not have a full time job. Surely better to build one company properly than to undertake five, and not get time to do any of them thoroughly and to the best of your ability.

Keep in mind what you envision as the end result. Are you setting up your company to provide an additional income? Or do you plan to do it full time when it can support the family? If you are planning to quit your day job then set goals. It would be wise to have a cash reserve as a back up to augment income if you do not have the benefit of a regular pay check.

A part-time business, which you develop over time, can be a wonderful way to grow your company. It takes time to build contacts and to gain the trust of your customers. In fact, part-time working may be the best kept business secret. Take a look at Michael Dell, who started his business part-time in his school dorm. It makes you think, doesn’t it?

Sagem Mobiles end joint venture

As of March 3rd 2008, (http://www.sagem-phones.com-Sagem Mobiles), a division of French based Safran said that it would end their handset joint venture with China based Ningbo Bird.

The manufacturing venture was set up in 2002, whilst the sale was sparked mainly due to sluggish sales from both brands in China and abroad.

No financial details have been release, but it's believed Ningbo's 50% stake with Sagem Mobiles will sell for around 159 million yuan or $22 million USD.

In 2007, Ningbo and Sagem both dropped out of Gartner's list of the Top Ten Handset Makers.

Change Your Career and Change Your Life By Starting Your Own Business

Even if you're not a born entrepreneur, at some point in your life you've probably toyed with the idea of starting your own business. Perhaps you've even opted out of your mainstream career to strike out on your own. If you have, you're among the legions of men and women who have made the choice to start their own businesses.

Unfortunately, many dreams of self-employment turn into nightmares, primarily because many of those who start businesses don't know how to critically assess business opportunities, how to create a business plan, how to read a financial report, or how to design and implement a marketing plan. Truly, the difference between those who succeed and those who fail most often boils down to whether or not the person has acquired the knowledge necessary to launch and operate a business.

What most aspiring entrepreneurs don't realize is that the skill set necessary to start a business isn't out of reach. It's simply a matter of finding the right tools and using them to your best advantage. These tools can be found in books, through online college courses, through training, or through the mentorship of a successful businessperson.

In a nutshell, these are the steps you need to take in order to change your career and change your life through starting your own business:

1. Identify and build on your strengths. If you are a creative person who thrives on the unexpected, starting a bookkeeping business that requires endless hours of number crunching is a recipe for disaster. You need to assess your talents and interests, and then discover how you can use them to create a niche and demand for your product or service.

2. Create a business plan. A business plan is both your vision for your business and your roadmap to achieve your goals. It must include defining your product or service, identifying your competitors and differentiating yourself from them, and pinpointing funding and financial opportunities.

3. Lay the groundwork. Businesses aren't built in a day, and you have to go through the mundane tasks of setting up bank accounts, securing business licenses, and jumping through the necessary regulatory hoops.

4. Create a marketing plan. Whether or not your business includes e-commerce, you can be sure that the Internet will play a major role in marketing your new business. But there are many other ways of garnering low cost or free advertising and marketing, and you need to make it your business to learn about them. You must also identify your target market and come up with a strategy to bring your product or service to that market.

5. Pay attention to the details. Many businesses fail because of a lack of attention to details - whether that means sloppy accounting practices, poor inventory control, or missing the deadline for a funding source. Launching a business is a balancing act, and you and your team must walk the high wire with aplomb.

6. Acknowledge and dismiss fear. Fear is what often holds us back from achieving our dreams. There's no doubt that leaving your career to start your own business is a downright frightening proposition. But with the right tools, you can acknowledge your fears for what they are, and then boldly move forward on your new career path of self-employment.

7 Ways to Sell and Retain Your Integrity

Making more sales while retaining your integrity -- is it possible to do both?

Here are seven suggestions:

1. Focus on the getting to the "truth" of your potential client's situation. You may or may not be a fit for each other, so focusing on the end goal of making the sale only derails the trust-building process. Without trust, you compromise integrity.

2. Eliminate rejection once and for all by setting realistic expectations and avoiding traditional sales behaviors such as defensiveness, persuasion, and over-confidence. If you're not trying to sell, you can't be rejected.

3. Stop "chasing" potential clients who have no intention of buying. How can you do this? Shift your mindset and boost your truth-seeking skills so that you can quickly, yet graciously, discern whether the two of you are a potential "fit" or not.

4. Avoid calling people "prospects" or even thinking about them that way. People are people, and when you label them in your language or your thoughts, you dehumanize them and the sales process. "Prospect" reinforces the notion that sales is only a "numbers game." Train yourself to think about "potential clients" instead.

5. Take the "cold" out of your cold calling. Don't start with "Hi, my name is... I'm with... We do...". When you begin a conversation by making it about you, instead of about the other person, you immediately cut off the possibility of opening a dialogue. Try the more humble approach of asking "Maybe you can help me out for a second," and keep in mind that you're really calling to help them solve their problems.

6. Don't try to "overcome" objections. Instead, determine whether the objection is the client's truth or not. Then you can decide whether to continue to open the conversation.

7. Avoid using "I" or "We" in your e-mail communications to potential clients. These words indicate that the focus of your communication is on satisfying your needs rather than solving their problems. This sets the wrong tone for a potential relationship.

So What Is The True Salary For Medical Transcriptionist?

So how much can you expect to earn as a medical transcriptionist?

I know you’re going to hate this answer, but…it depends. Medical transcription is listed as one of the fastest growing careers and will be for the next several years. That’s good news!

Listen to this, according to the U.S. Dept. of Labor‘s May, 2005 statistics regarding medical transcription, the hourly mean wage was $14.36 and the annual mean wage was $29,880. This is up from the previous year, which is good considering some job wages are going down.

The five top paying states in order were Alaska, California, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Nevada.  Now, if you don’t live in one of the top five states, don’t worry!

I live in Georgia and make a lot more than the “average” the DOL has listed and there’s a good chance you will too! The pay starting out at your first job (which may be in a doctor’s office, hospital, or online service) usually is pretty modest.

The good side of that is that many times you get benefits such as paid leave and insurance. If it’s the top salary you are going for, just be patient. Self-employed MTs can earn significantly more than MT employees.

Of course, they have to take out taxes and get their own insurance either privately or through their spouse’s company but the rewards are many!

Most MTs are paid by the line, for example if you earn $0.10 per line and you type 1000 lines, you earn $100.

You can either then let the word processing program (Word or Word Perfect) tell you how many lines there are or, in some older programs, you may need to get the word count, then divide by 11 to get the line count. Most line counts are made by dividing the number of words by 11 since a line has an average of 11 words in it). The going rate is anywhere from as low as $0.05 per line (for beginners) to $0.14 per line and even more. In my area the average is $0.08 to $0.12 per line.

Try not to take a job where you are paid by the hour.

You will make less money and you will be tempted to hurry and may make careless errors, thereby not delivering good quality.

Also, ONE WORD OF WARNING!!!!! OK, two words, Be Patient!

When you first start out, you will feel like you are making $2.00 per hour once you add your lines and multiply by your rate, then divide by how much time you spent typing.

I remember sitting at the computer one night in tears because I had just worked for 4 HOURS transcribing one tape and had earned a whopping $4.50 per hour! I thought, “I can’t do this! It’s not worth it!” It was sooooo frustrating!

But do you know what was causing me to be so “slow”? It wasn’t my typing speed (which by the way you can go to www.careerstep.com, click the top link for “free typing test” and it will time you for one minute and give you feedback regarding your accuracy and score)… it was having to stop and look up words every 30 seconds.

The faster you learn the medical terms, the faster you will do your work and the more you will get paid. At first it is hard because you aren’t sure what the doctor is saying and if it’s really unclear, you have to try looking up a word you can’t even begin to spell.

If you hear the word clearly but don’t know how to spell it, you may have to stop and pull out one of your reference books and look up the correct spelling, OR if you have someone else editing your work you may have to write this out for that person to look up. This all takes time. This is also where good reference books, good training (medical terminology course for sure!), and a GREAT medical spell checker (that can catch many of the misspelled words as you type) come in.

All of these resources will increase your speed and your quality, thereby increasing your pay considerably! Just don’t give up! You will want to at first, I did too!!! And so many other MTs I have talked to say the same thing.

You are in good company. But we are so glad we didn’t give up and you will be too!

By the way, that same 4 Hour tape today would take me about 45 minutes which comes to roughly $27.00 per hour.

Quick Tips for Finding New Prospects

Convert leads into clients and boost your sales

By Claire McLennan

A major part of keeping profitable and growing your business is maintaining a focus on business development. Even when you've got the right mix of work, clients and employees you should be looking for new sales leads. Establish a process that ensures your existing customers don't get neglected while you manage (http://www.microsoft.com/india/smallbusiness/partners.mspx-new business opportunities ) in a cost - and time-effective manner.

1. Generate sales leads. Identify the types of companies you want to work with and a realistic number of companies you want to target over a given period of time. For example: An accountant with experience in the marketing industry might decide to target five opportunities per month focussed on marketing consultancies.

Finding potential clients and identifying new opportunities can be done through networking events, tenders listed in newspapers and industry magazines and headlines in newspapers about new projects and industry seminars. Keep an eye on your industry and stay aware of new developments.

Track the companies you approach in a database (you could use Microsoft Office Excel or Access). Tracking should cover the obvious things — company contact details — as well as details of what was discussed, potential work, actions and more.

2. Qualify the leads. Once you have companies identified, review it to ensure they are realistic opportunities. Some areas to think about include:

Do you have the right contacts to get started?

Do you have the right services to offer them?

How can their website help you understand them better?

Do you have any conflicts of interest in pursuing this company?

Does this client have growth potential or would it be a quick job?

Who makes the decisions? How can you reach them?

3. Raise your business profile. By raising your company profile (no matter how small you are) you'll be able to generate new business with less effort. As a leader in the industry, new business will come to you. There are many ways to raise your profile; you could try sponsoring events, adverts and gaining media coverage. The size, location and target market of your business will dictate the medium to use and the areas to cover.

4. Show them what you're made of. Start to reach your qualified opportunities by showcasing your company's products. Send them a brochure or a copy of any newsletters you produce and invite them to join; show off examples of your work; highlight relevant media articles. However, if you're using e-mail, avoid being overly intrusive or they may regard it as spam.

Develop standard template letters in Word to send to potential clients to accompany your credentials/brochures. Link to your database (Excel, Access or Outlook) when merging the letters and envelopes to ensure you don't have to re-enter details.

There is no specified time for this courting, so be patient. It could be six months before anything comes to fruition.

5. Set a meeting time. So you're in the door. Now you need to sell yourself. Tailor the meeting to suit the way you operate as a business. It could be a formal PowerPoint presentation or a discussion over coffee. You may have no choice for the style of the meeting but make sure you are comfortable and well prepared. During the meeting be sure to demonstrate the knowledge you have developed in the previous stages.

6. Follow up. You've presented your capabilities and ideas. Don't stop there. Follow up is essential. This is a major part of the process and should be taken as seriously as the other steps. You'll probably be able to build on ideas from the meeting, or you might find an interesting/relevant article or statistics you could send to re-open discussion. Even if you don't have anything to send, thank them for the opportunity. </td>

In Case of Disaster, Save Copies of Vital Documents

The impact of disasters like last year's Gulf Coast hurricanes is often long-term. As victims try to put their lives back in order, they frequently face the challenge of locating important documents that might have been lost or destroyed.

For many people, it takes a disaster to remind them of the importance of having copies of vital documents safely stored somewhere other than their homes.

A recent study commissioned by The UPS Store and Mail Boxes Etc. franchise network disclosed that 58 percent of those surveyed said that natural disasters have made them more aware of this need.

Yet only 21 percent of respondents have started preparing for a natural disaster. Of those who have started preparations, just over half indicated that they have taken steps to copy important documents.

The UPS Store franchisee Steve Spicer recommends that people make copying important documents a yearly ritual.

"Tax time is the perfect time to inventory and copy necessary papers," he says. "We encourage customers to bring in important documents along with their tax returns. It just takes a few minutes and a few cents to duplicate each document."

The survey indicated that a vast majority of respondents - 71 percent - consider their birth certificate to be among the most important documents to copy. Other documents cited include financial records, such as wills, bank records and credit card information (34 percent); insurance information (31 percent); social security card and related information (29 percent); and the deed for their house (20 percent).

Cost Benefit Analysis-Whether you should outsource your Bookkeeping to Professional Book Keeper

What is a role of a bookkeeper in your organisation :

BOOKKEEPERS keep complete, up-to-date, and accurate records of accounts and financial arrangements.  Bookkeepers verify and enter information into journals and ledgers or into a computer.  They periodically balance the books and compile reports and financial statements.  Bookkeepers also receive, record, bank and pay out cash.  They balance checkbooks with monthly bank statements.  They may calculate employee wages from plant records or time cards and issue payroll checks. Some of the other work they may do includes posting accounts receivable and payable, prepare and make bank deposits, record payrolls, maintain inventory records, purchase supplies, prepare purchase orders and do expense reports. Bookkeepers may also make schedules, sort documents, and file bills. These type of jobs are found in every industry and may have various job titles, such as accounts payable clerk, accounts receivable clerk or assistant bookkeeper.

Cost of a Bookkeeper :

The pay for these jobs depends upon experience, clerical skills, the level of responsibility and the job location.  Beginning salaries go from minimum wage to $ 15 per hour.  Experienced Bookkeeper can make   $ 20 an hour.  After having worked for three years with the same firm, a Bookkeeper can earn at $ 25 per hour. A Bookkeepers usually work 40 hours a week; sometimes it may be necessary to work overtime. Some employers have fringe benefits such as paid vacations and sick leave, life and health insurance, and bonuses.  Other benefits that the employer may include are participation in a credit union, or retirement and profit sharing plans.

Advantage of outsourcing Bookkeeping work to a professional bookkeeper :

There are several distinct advantages to outsourcing your bookkeeping functions. First and foremost is saving money. You get what you pay for and if you don't pay for quality than you won't have quality service. However, you can save money by outsourcing because you won't be paying for employer payroll tax expense, workman's compensation and general liability insurances, vacation time, sick time, health insurance and other benefits a good full time bookkeeper will expect from his/her employer. Just remember, however, that these costs will be built into the consultant's hourly rate and their fee will reflect these costs. Any bookkeeping consultant who has not taken these costs into consideration is not a bookkeeper you want - if they don't know enough to include these costs into their fees, then they don't know enough to be a help to your business. You should expect to pay at least three times what you would pay an experienced full charge bookkeeper.

And just how do you save money by paying three times the amount you would pay an employee? Well, let's see. There will be no recruiting, interviewing and training costs for start. And if you should find yourself unhappy with the services there will be no additional recruiting, interviewing and training to replace your bookkeeper. Also, you will not have to be concerned about law suits such as sexual harassment, unlawful firing, age discrimination, sexist, etc. Or an increase in your unemployment rates because you laid off an employee that you really wanted to fire but had no lawful cause to do so. So right away we have less time and money spent and potentially less hassle if things don't go well.

And of course you will not be paying workman's compensation and general liability insurance premiums. Also any worthy bookkeeper will expect at least two weeks vacation, coverage for sick time, health and dental insurance and even perhaps more benefits.

Most professional bookkeepers will have their own offices saving you space within your office. So you will not be buying that extra desk, calculator, computer and computer software. Your bookkeeper will be providing all of that as part of his/her fee. No software updates, computer maintenance, training costs, etc. Of course should you prefer to have your computerized bookkeeping records available to you at your office, a small investment in software installed on your computer makes this possible. Also no office supplies to be paid for. You will be amazed at just how much pens, pencils, and paper can be used by a bookkeeper. Your consultant bookkeeper will either ask you to drop off the work at their office, will pick it up at your office or some may even offer remote bookkeeping service. And by having your bookkeeping done off site, your bookkeeper will be able to work more efficiently and accurately because her/his office will most likely offer less distractions than your busy office. All of this is saving you money.

And the best reason for outsourcing is that you control the amount of money spent on bookkeeping. What I mean by this is that the person you hire to do your bookkeeping will be doing just that - not answering the phone, dealing with drop-bys, chatting to other employees, etc. Also you can start with just a few hours a month and add on when you need to and then adjust downward again should it be necessary. Can you imagine finding an employee to start with only four hours a month, then asking them to put in 20 hours a week for awhile and then back down to four hours a month again. I don't think you would keep them for very long, but a free lance bookkeeper is able to work around these variables and even more importantly expects to work with flexible schedules.

So have I convinced you yet? If so, then just remember "you will get what you pay for". Go for top quality because your financial records are the core of your business and without great bookkeeping you cannot expect to succeed no matter what type of business you have. After all don't you think you are worth it ?(http://www.submitsuite.com/products/article-submitter.htm-This article was published using Article Submitter)

You won’t get scammed if you know what to look out for!

You have all heard and seen of the scams when it comes to work from home money making methods such as paid surveys. You can avoid them if you look carefully as they all follow a certain pattern so once you know what to look out for you won't fall victim to these scams.

After careful studies of these known scammers I can tell you the certain features to watch out so you don't give them the satisfaction of thinking they have fooled another gullible person. The first and most important thing to look out for is do you need to pay for this service? If you do have to, why? When you get a normal offline job do you pay your boss to have the privilege to work for him? I didn't think so. However there are the few exceptions when it comes to paying upfront but these are rare occasions. Some companies charge a fee so you don't have to search the internet for the best resources to get the surveys but I cannot stress enough that many of these are scams so be sure to do your research before and try to contact people who have used them before.

A lot of these scammer sites have a great sales pitch and excellent testimonials but you can't trust everything you see on a website as you will all know it's very easily to build a very promising website with loads of feedback but you never know if it's true. Even if you get in contact with these people you don't know if there friends of the website owners willing to participate in the scam. The best thing you can do before you start up with a company (especially a paid one) is to do some research on them and look around for the ones with the best reviews by a range of people.

If you do get scammed by a company don't loose faith as this is a proven method to generate a nice side income, try to learn from your mistakes and try another and you will get the successful one that will give you that extra source of income. I know many people doing this in their spare time so there are legit companies out there which will send you the surveys and don't even require any money up front.

There are many blogs where people have given their success stories stating which companies they used and which they think they got the best results from. They also provide a list of any companies they found to be a waste of time so having a quick read can save you loads of time and money.

Sell Restaurant – Steps to Selling a Restaurant

Selling a business, especially a restaurant is not as easy as it seems and most people find it difficult not knowing how to go about it.  The end result is targeting unprofessional people who just waste time and the ‘real buyers’ are nowhere to be seen.

The crucial aspect of selling a restaurant is effective advertising.

Many sellers think that the ‘tease strategy’ of providing less information gets people to call or show interest, whereas buyers are more apt to call if more information is given about the restaurant for sale.

Here are some quick tips that will stand the seller in good stead:

Pricing – The price point is important and pricing the restaurant reasonably is important.  Underpricing is as dangerous as overpricing. High pricing will keep the restaurant longer in the market and this is not good as there would be speculation among people as to the reason why the restaurant is not selling.

Maintenance – Buyers usually look at the reason the seller is selling the restaurant and it does not help any to see that the restaurant has not been maintained properly.  Taking care that every corner of the restaurant is in perfect shape helps in making a quick sale by making the buyer comfortable.

Information – Keeping all the information regarding the restaurant ready for the buyer is the way to go.  All the papers related to the restaurant, right from the time the restaurant was started, including the leases if any, profit and loss statements, and any other documentation should be filed neatly for the buyer to see.  The more convenient things are for the buyer, the easier it gets to sell a restaurant. Make sure to get a Non-disclosure agreement from the buyer before revealing confidential information.

Purchase agreement - A draft of the purchase agreement should be kept ready in case of an immediate sale, to avoid last minute confusion.  This can be modified once the sale is confirmed.

Advertising - Advertising a restaurant for sale needs serious planning and getting it to the right people. Having a wide range of buyers will increase the prospect of making a deserving sale. Along with the newspaper advertisement, it may be advertised online too.  Advertising should continue until the final check comes in hand.

Understanding the buyer - There may be many unqualified people showing interest in buying the restaurant, but most of them may not be serious about buying it.  To keep such people from getting their hands on all the information, it is important to study the buyer and assess his financial background and business interests.  These seemingly small but important steps help you find the right buyer.

Transfer – If the restaurant is a leased premises, the first thing to do even before advertising is to check with the lessor if the restaurant lease can be transferred to the new buyer.  It may be required to sign a new lease before selling the restaurant.

Agreements - Everything related to the restaurant sale and terms should be in writing.  When selling a restaurant, it is advisable to consult experts in the area and draft an agreement that states all the conditions for the sale, which is then signed by both the parties, to avoid any problems in the future, such as lawsuits.

Initial deposit – Upon reaching an agreement with the buyer, it is a good practice to take an initial deposit of some kind or use an escrow service to hold the deposit until everything is finalized.

Armed with this information and proper advertising, the success rate of selling the restaurant faster is very high. Before deciding on selling a restaurant, consulting with professionals is extremely important to get a fair idea on all the security agreements and notes that need to be prepared.

Lake Cowichan Hotel – Cathy Youlden – Daryl Youlden – CQ enterprises Ltd

If you are considering staying in beautiful Lake Cowichan in British Columbia avoid Accomodations on Lake Cowichan Riverfront. Myself and a travel companion just returned from a 3 day stay and were basically mortified at our experience. Firstly, let me explain that we chose Accomodations on Lake Cowichan Riverfront primarily because they are pet friendly and we have one medium sized dog we travel with. Although the pictures on the website look fantastic the accomodations are anything but.

At first blush our room was extremely tiny and terribly filthy. There was a large iron burn on the rug and sheetrock dust everywhere, and oh, did I mention the overbearing smell of fresh latex paint! It was very apparent that the workers who had just renovated this unit were anything but qualified craftsmen.

Accomodations on Lake Cowichan Riverfront is located right in the heart of downtown Lake Cowichan and run by a baby toting hippie woman and her creepy boyfriend that is evidently stoned on something through out the entire waking hours.

When we first arrived to check in we were greeted by a poorly dressed hippy woman breast feeding a 3 year old child at the front desk, not that there is anything wrong with a woman breast feeding her child in public. But have some class! The grounds are poorly kept and there is no way you are going to relax on the 'wharf' as they call it. The river is very cold and the current is amazingly fast, swimming is definately a huge risk. The caretaker and her boyfriend can be located amidst wofting marijuana smoke clouds in a tent out back if you should require any assistance, but beware of their rotwiler / pitbull cross companion as he is very mean and running freely on the property. In fact he attacked our dog and others on more than one ocassion.

We also had the displeasure of meeting 'Cathy' the owner of the complex during our stay. All I can say is that the accomodations reflect her compulsive, extremely odd behavior. Avoid talking with her unless you want to spend an hour listening to someone tell you how great they are and how they know everything about anything.

I could go on and on but I am sure by now you get the point. There are many very nice bed and breakfasts within walking distance that we discovered through another family staying at the hotel that are pet friendly also. Accomodations on Lake Cowichan Riverfront doesn't even deserve a star rating and certainly isn't worth your time or money. If you are planning a stay in Lake Cowichan avoid Accomodations on Lake Cowichan Riverfront like the plauge.

Benefits of the Turn Key Home Business

There are many benefits of joining a turn key, automated business opportunity. First, you'll be able to avoid the hassles and many start-up costs of a new business. Turn key businesses usually provide a website for you, which will eliminate high web design costs. You may be required to pay a fee to receive the website and services, but much time will be saved because your website will be ready to sell. The website presentation has already been tested to bring results. Also, customer service can be a huge benefit. The company will take care of sales for you. Trained professionals will take the phone calls and answer questions. They will close the sale for you so you won't have to worry about working one-on-one with customers.

Having a turn key website also eliminates many office expenses. You may still want to get business cards and promotional items, but you can eliminate phone expenses and other supplies because you won't need them for online promotions. Your main function will be network marketing through online promotion, so you can earn a healthy residual income based on your promotional efforts. The company does the selling for you once you introduce new people to your website.

As with many MLM opportunities, the turn key, automated home based business uses an automated system that works around the clock selling the ideas or products available, even while you sleep. Your focus can be on promotion, not everyday tasks such as answering phones, mailing correspondence, and updating your website.

So if you're worried about the hassles of starting a business, then a turn key, automated home based business may be just the right choice for you to realize wealth from home.

Guidelines for Sending Business Christmas Cards

Whether you own a sole proprietorship or are the CEO of a Fortune 500 corporation, sending business Christmas cards can serve to boost your customer relations and ultimately improve your bottom line. About half of all businesses send holiday cards - sometimes with unintended negative consequences. Here are some guidelines to ensure that your thoughtful gesture will be interpreted in the best possible light.

Selecting the Right Card

Every business has an image it portrays, whether through its logo, its branding efforts, or its marketing plan. The design of business holiday cards you select should reinforce that image. If, for example, you are a stockbroker, a Wall Street winter scene might be appropriate. On the other hand, if you are a pediatric dentist, more whimsical greeting cards are in order. For most businesses, and elegant and tasteful card is always appropriate.

When it comes to choosing a greeting card company, there are many online sources for business Christmas cards. Make sure to choose one that is well established and has a track record of satisfying customers. The best online greeting card companies will send you sample cards upon request, and offer personalization, free coordinating foil-lined envelopes, and printed envelopes.

When ordering business holiday cards, keep in mind that not everyone celebrates Christmas. A card expressing "season's greetings" or "warm holiday wishes" will prevent you from unintentionally offending those who aren't of the Christian faith.

Sending Your Cards

In business, timing is everything. Although you have some leeway in sending business holiday cards, the rule of thumb is to send them between December 1 and December 15. If you're a business-to-business company, keep in mind that many businesses close or have reduced hours during the holiday season, so make sure that your card arrives in advance of the holidays.

In order to send your holiday cards out in a timely fashion, make sure to order them early. Personalized business Christmas cards can take a few weeks to produce, so try and place your order by mid-October.

The Personalized Touch

The purpose of sending business greeting cards is to engender warm feelings in the recipient. That won't happen if your Christmas cards have address labels and are run through a postage meter. Expend the extra effort and have someone on your staff (who has nice handwriting) address the envelopes by hand. In addition, use a postage stamp instead of a meter when applying postage.

In the same vein, although you should have your cards printed with the company's name, the cards should also be signed by hand. The best approach is to have those who most closely work with the recipient sign the card by hand. If yours is a small enterprise, have a card signing party one afternoon, and have each person on your staff sign each card. This will go a long way towards making a positive impression on the recipient.

Be a Gracious Recipient

There's little doubt that your company will also receive business holiday cards from your vendors and associates. Be a gracious recipient and display the cards in your workplace. It will not only bring a bit of holiday cheer to your office, but it will also please those who have a sent a card to you and see it displayed.