Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Money Making Ideas That Work

It is important when beginning a new business, especially when looking at online businesses, with many opportunities for inexperienced operators, that the information is easy to use, has proven strategies, has a step by step guide, is good value for money and offers a 100% money back guarantee.

Without the right strategies and starting point, many programmes fall short wasting time and money to prospective entrepreneurs.

In my opinion, after reviewing many of the top opportunities available online, the following sites we have published on www.richquickexposed.com, represent the best online products available on the internet today. Guaranteeing success if their expert advice is followed.

The Rich Jerk
This is the #1 resource you can get your hands on for making money on the Internet. The Rich Jerk gets straight to the point, telling you what you really need to know to make a lot of money online. The Rich Jerk has helped thousands of people make money online.

Forex Enterprise
A powerful system, which can start making money on the first day.
Anyone can create a guaranteed stream of income with Google AdWords & ClickBank.

Affiliate Cash Vault
New fail-safe system virtually runs 100% on autopilot. Just set it and forget it! No gimmicks, no empty promises, just good business. They are looking for individuals interested in starting their own legitimate home business.

Moonlighting Jobs as a Computer Consultant for Small Business

Securing moonlighting jobs as a computer consultant for small businesses is difficult because you're typically working when the small businesses are closed. You need the flexibility to carry out your moonlighting jobs during the evening and on weekends and many small businesses are not going to be comfortable with that arrangement. These business owners want to interact with their consultants on their time and prefer you to work around their schedule rather than vice versa.

A straightforward solution for securing small business moonlighting jobs as a computer consultant is to target businesses where there is a natural fit between your time frame and their schedule. Businesses that are open in the evenings like restaurants, health clubs and call centers are one source of moonlighting jobs. Others include businesses that run second or third shifts and even those that operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The problem with this method is that these clients are not necessarily ideal, full-time customers, unless, of course, you enjoy getting beeped at 2:00 in the morning. If this type of moonlighting job does not fit with the type of client you want to have fill up 90% of your client roster, then you need to work on your flexibility and make yourself available to small businesses on their terms.

Moonlighting Jobs and Job Flexibility

You want to build a solid base of 9-5 clients because once your moonlighting job phase is over, it is unlikely you will want to continue sacrificing your nights and weekends. This creates a bit of a Catch-22 as you are primarily available on evenings and weekends yet the clients you want to attract, want you to be available 9-5. This is where having job flexibility is absolutely critical.

You need to be able to use vacation days, personal days, and sick days to work with clients. Being able to take long lunches, go in late, and leave early are crucial to your ability to secure small business, 9-5 moonlighting jobs. You can accommodate a networking breakfast if you come in late to work and if you can get off work early then you can get started working with a client before the end of their business day and stay on into the early evening. To pull this off, your day-job has to have a significant amount of flexibility built in. If it doesn't, your ability to secure the type of moonlighting jobs you seek will be severely limited.

The Bottom Line on Moonlighting Jobs

Getting moonlighting jobs as a computer consultant for small businesses requires persistence and flexibility but the sacrifices you make now will pay-off later in terms of an excellent client base that you want to sustain as you transition to full-time computer consulting. This means a bit of a juggling act on your part but just until you are able to give yourself the 9-5 hours your clients are enjoying.

Multisourcing Creates More Opportunities

As more companies turn to outsourcing to alleviate budget issues and increase productivity, they are generating more business through multisourcing agreements in tandem with other firms. Through multisourcing, smaller firms are being given the opportunity to compete with larger organizations.

Early in 2006, General Motors announced a $15 billion, five-year outsourcing plan and awarded long-term contracts to a host of vendors, including EDS, Hewlett Packard, Capgemini, IBM, Compuware, Covisint and Winpro.

Private equity firms with cash flow are turning their attention to multiple small and midsize technology outsourcing firms to meet their needs. According to analysts, similar long-term contracts and the resulting stable cash flows make the companies attractive takeover targets for equity firms.

Servicing clients like these is the expertise of Quintek Technologies, a rapidly growing outsourcing firm based in Huntington Beach, Calif. Since 1991, the company has provided outsourced back-office services to Fortune 500 companies and federal agencies alike. Last year, Quintek posted a 418 percent increase in revenues.

Quintek is an industry leader in document management and related back-office services, providing a variety of customized solutions for financial, insurance, medical, professional and government institutions of all sizes.

Clients rely on Quintek to quickly, efficiently and accurately convert paper documents into electronic images and to capture and process mission-critical data from imaged documents through customized and state-of-the-art workflow solutions.

Quintek's Business Process Optimization solutions encompass a wide range of services, such as mailroom services, document scanning and imaging, on-shore and off-shore data entry, and image and data distribution.

Muzak for the Business Phone System Ruined My Favorite Songs

When someone calls my office, there's a good chance they will be put on hold. We don't want to put anyone on hold; it's just a necessity that arises from being busy. When people who call are put on hold, they are greeted with a short message telling them how much we regret having to make them wait, followed by the soothing sounds of Vivaldi, Wagner, Bach, Brahms, Beethoven and others.

Yes, we offer classical music on our phone system. Some people like classical, others don't. I can appreciate anyone's musical taste, but regardless of whether or not you like classical, the recordings are of famous symphonies performing well known compositions, they are not Muzak versions with synthesized orchestras. Why do I mention this? The other day, I called upon a company we do business with and was put on hold myself. They have some form of Muzak, which many businesses now employ. Don't get me wrong, I am used to hearing almost everything on Muzak, from James Taylor to Classics of the 50's and 60's.

While on hold this time, however, I found myself humming along to none other than Mountain's "Mississippi Queen". At first, I though it couldn't possibly be, but sure enough, it was. Was I that old? Was this masterpiece of raw, rootsy rock and roll so ancient that even it deserved the Musak treatment. I hung up the phone in disgust. Apparently, nothing is sacred anymore. You see, Mississippi Queen was meant to be heard in it's original form, not condensed into a midi file and played back as though it had been originally written by the inventor of the Casio Tonebank. I had never felt so old in my life. Not only that, I was disgusted that the soundtrack to my youth had been Lawrence Welk-a-sized into fluffy, lightweight hold music. Ladies and Gentlemen, Rock and Roll has officially died.

My 5 Second Rule for Small Business Owners

Opening a new business in the real world or online in cyberspace requires thinking beyond all the money you will make. Most small business owners are clear on their ultimate goal, yet often many fail to spend time planning their marketing image. To succeed, first impressions are critical, or you may violate what I call My 5 Second Rule:

When a new prospect finds your web site, you have 5 seconds to convince them to stay.

The rule applies in the physical world, also. Your printed materials may be dumped in the trash just as quickly, or a visitor to your company may browse briefly while in fact the no sale decision was made in those critical first few seconds.

Regardless of your business, your image as a professional and credible source for a product or service depends on making a positive first impression. While most people don't realize the subconscious dynamics that occur during an introduction, how you are perceived is clouded with prejudice.

In a face to face meeting, subconsciously your prospect will categorize you immediately by sex, age, and race. This fact may be hard to believe, however, individual life experiences connect your combination of these 3 characteristics into a fixed profile based on past encounters. Overcoming any negatives begins when you speak. A warm and friendly approach while being prepared to offer the benefits of doing business will help you succeed.

In print, your business card, ad, or brochure tells a similar story without the subconscious human preconceptions. The message will still elicit a reaction, good or bad, so how you present your company in print needs to get past My 5 Second Rule. This is equally true for the home page of your web site. Here's some advice.

Customers have a need (problem), and you provide a product or service (solution). Matching these 2 for a successful sale is easier than most people realize. Front door selling, printed ads, or online web offers should all address the benefits (solution, again) and not the features (it's about the customer, not about you).

Your marketing materials need to project a mental image in the mind of the viewer. Stimulate their imagination so they picture themselves enjoying the benefits of your offer, and you can overcome My 5 Second Rule. Here's an example that was created for a used car dealer. How do you glamorize a business that is the subject of so many disparaging jokes?

This client had a featured monthly special vehicle that they wanted to promote on their web site. The photos taken in a chain link enclosed parking lot didn't convey the excitement or mental picture necessary to stimulate the viewer. The chosen vehicle was an upscale Jeep, and the client specialized in exports to Puerto Rico. To add pizzazz, I did an edit of the photo to remove the background, and placed 2 views of the monthly special on a bluff overlooking a gorgeous beach in Puerto Rico. If my descriptions succeeded creating your mental image referring to the chain link and gorgeous beach, the subtle difference in presentation should be apparent.

Bonus Tip: What to Say When a Customer is Wrong
As a small business owner, you know your business and as an expert, reacting to an email or face to face comment that you know is absolutely wrong will work wonders if you answer with two magic words: "You're right!". This works for several reasons. Most importantly, your customer may be expecting an argument, so they will only hear half of what you have to say if you reply saying they are wrong. The listener will be busy mentally sorting comebacks and supporting evidence, and may not hear any of your expert advice.

Telling someone "You're right" will have them on the edge of their chair waiting for your next comment. Shifting your argument to what you know to be the truth is easy. With a brief pause after your magic two words, continue with "...and there are many people who feel the same way. From years of experience, I've found that in fact (insert the truth based on your expertise here)... etc." and you give them the opportunity to accept your slant on the subject without having their opinion challenged. It works. For those concerned about ethics, the phrase "You're right!" is simply an acknowledgement that they have one view, and it is valid because that's how they feel.

In summary, a professional image includes a wide range of materials for making a positive first impression. Consider the feelings of your prospect and how your product or service will benefit them, and you'll do well in converting first introductions into sales.

Need Capital for Your Small Business? Here's The Scoop on Unsecured Loans

If you are seriously seeking money in the form of an unsecured small business loan, you will be pleased to know that the process can be painless, quick and easy. Lenders know your frustrations when trying to borrow money in today’s economic environment.

You’ve heard it said before: It takes money to make money. Think about it. Whether you need to increase your inventory, or perhaps increase your equipment, you need money to seize business opportunities to increase your business.

Fortunately, there are places where you can obtain business loans without collateral. If you’ve operated your business for over a year and generate a minimum of $3,000 in credit card sales per month, you can pre-qualify for a business loan. You may barely meet these requirements or you may greatly exceed them. Each credit situation is unique. Clients that pre-qualify have a better than likely chance of receiving funding. Lenders will extend their efforts to assist you in securing a loan for free. Until you have successfully secured funds, there is no obligation and no fee.

If you are an individual or start-up business, you may be able to borrow between $10,000 and $150,000. If you are a business owner with two or more years in operation, you may be able to borrow between $15,000 and $250,000. The amount will vary based upon a number of credit attributes. No collateral or assets are required. The amount of your business loan will depend upon your credit rating and monthly credit card sales history. It’s that simple!

Most lenders have a $5,000 minimum loan amount. Typically, loan amounts can be up to twice the amount of your average monthly credit card and debit card sales. Lenders are processing loan applications in about seven business days. Once you fill out the brief application (online, on the phone or via fax), you’ll have your money. In most instances, no financial documentation is required. These loans are available to all types of business. Most loans are for a one-year term. However, 24- to 84- month terms is not uncommon.

There is no cost to apply for these business loans; however, once your loan is approved, there is usually a “processing” fee that is deducted from the loan amount. Or, certain lenders will assess a “loan consulting” fee that varies based upon the amount of financing you receive and the type of loan program you choose. In any event, fee structures are set forth before your loan is finalized. Many loan programs have no fees so it is good to take a look at a few lenders.

The interest rates for these business loans vary, depending on your credit situation and the lender that approves you. The interest rate typically falls somewhere between prime +2% and prime +9.99%. The overall average interest rate for most clients can range from 6.99% to 13.99%. Interest rates are clearly stated and the terms of the loans are usually set out at the time of your initial application.

Payback of these business loans is easy. The lender will automatically withhold a small percentage of your daily credit card settlements until the loan is repaid. There are no checks to write, no due dates to worry about. Your merchant account processing will be transferred to the lender’s nationally recognized processor with rates that are usually lower than your existing processing rates. In short, your lender will get their payment automatically, every day.

New Hires Are At Risk Part 1

People new to a business or job are often inexperienced and unfamiliar with the new work environment, procedures, equipment, materials, machinery and tools that may be required to do the job; they are at a greater risk of injury or illness while at work.

New workers must, but often don’t receive the information, instruction, training or supervision they require, particularly in regard to health and safety. Some companies assume the worker knows the basics in health and safety procedures. New workers also want to impress their employer, supervisor and fellow workers.

It is the employer’s responsibility to provide all workers with adequate information, instruction, training and supervision, in a form that workers will understand. New workers cannot be simply be put into a new job and expect they will work safely; nor is it enough to simply provide new workers with a booklet, as they may not read or understand it. New workers must comprehend and fully understand the health and safety procedures.

The safety of the workplace which includes the work environment, equipment, machinery, tools, and procedures should also be accessed. Identify all possible dangers and ensure preventative measures are in place to eliminate any risk to workers.

Have a clear understanding of the role this new worker will be fulfilling and the work that will be done. The role could be replacing a previous worker or the role could be new for the company. All possible hazards that can affect the new worker must be identified and controlled. Developing a job description will help to outline the specific job requirements; this outline will point to some of the hazards of the job. Some further investigation through looking at the injury statistics, the job and tasks, and even talking to workers in similar positions. Developed and documented work procedures will explain the steps needed to do the job safely. This documented procedure can then be used during the training of a new worker.

Develop a selection process that will enable selection of the appropriate person for the job. The process should include interview questions, practical demonstrations, reference checks and health assessments. It is not unlawful to require medical examinations of job applicants. They should, however, only assess whether applicants are fit to perform the requirements of the job, and not their general state of health. A question to include is: are there any past related injuries to the job description.

New Hires Are At Risk Part 2

Once a new employee has been hired, there should be some kind of welcoming into the company. This is not a short term event; it is a team building event. The process is called induction.

The first few weeks on a new job will develop a new worker’s attitude to their work, workplace and work mates. This induction provides a way for an employer to positively influence new people to your business through the provision of information, training and supervision; these actions will assist in the safe transition of new workers into their jobs, work team and the company. Employers in doing a proper induction will also find an efficient, productive and safe workforce.

The induction process is much more than just having a one hour meeting with a new worker on the first day. A proper process will occur over a period of weeks or months and are the basis for on-going training. Time spent showing a new worker the correct and safest way to do a job will be return an effective and safe worker.

After all of the necessary paper work, meeting key people, work site visits and practical training has been completed, it is time to ensure that the new worker has understood what they have been told and shown. It is important to encourage new workers to ask questions.

During these first few days, give new workers clear instructions and ask them to repeat the instructions. Encourage all new workers to ask questions; this is vital feedback to ensure the new worker fully understands. Supervise the new worker while they perform the task, and correct any mistakes. A good way to have new workers ask questions is to ask them questions; this will give the new worker an opportunity to ask questions and raise issues. Have frequent visits with the new worker as a follow up. For new workers and even established workers training is never truly completed; it is always being updated.

A positive induction is a very powerful event. The event will shape the attitudes of the new employee and if positive, the new employee will grow to be a worthy asset for the company.

New Personnel Can Be A Safety Risk

Asking new workers about their previous safety education and work experience helps businesses ensure the workers know the basics of workplace safety. Too many accidents occur because businesses assume that everyone knows the basics. Businesses many times will find the worker did not know the basics only after an accident occurs. Ensure every new worker knows their rights and responsibilities.

Workers must know they have the right to participate in health and safety training and safety programs in the workplace. They also have the right to know about hazards they may be exposed in the workplace. They have the right to refuse unsafe work and they have the responsibility to follow safety procedures and wear any personal protective equipment that may be required by the company and that is required by law.

New employees are more susceptible to accidents than those who have experience in the business’ workplace. New workers can be classified many ways. The most obvious is any new hire; this can be permanent or temporary personnel and can include supervisors, with or without experience in the business or even the industry. Student workers, co-op placements or apprentices are also obviously new to the workplace. Less obvious are current workers who are assigned new jobs. Contractors, subcontractors, and visitors to your workplace all need to know the general safety rules of the workplace.

Orientation is more than just a tour of the workplace. It should cover emergency procedures, workplace safety rules everyone must follow at your workplace, general requirements for personal protective equipment, first aid provisions, information about where the safety board is posted and any other essential health and safety facts. If possible introduce new and young workers to the health and safety committee members or the health and safety representative during orientation and show them where their names are posted.

Supervisors need to be in regular contact with workers. With new personnel additional contact will be required. Communication should freely flow two ways between the supervisor and the worker. Questions on unsafe working conditions should be dealt with immediately. Supervisors must provide instruction and ensure safety regulations and rules are followed.

Providing a safe working environment and ensuring a safe start when new personnel come to work will ensure the workers are fully capable of performing work and in a safe manner. Safety legislation includes a general provision requiring employers to ensure their workers have been provided with proper information, instruction and supervision to protect their health and safety while they perform their jobs. These regulations are to protect all new personnel to the workplace. These regulations are also set to protect the company as long as documentation can be provided if there is an accident.

Title: New Regulations for Small Business Owners Word Count: 660 Summary: Important information about new business regulations that all small busin

Time was, you could just hang up a shingle and call yourself a business. As long as you didn't shoot anyone, you were pretty much left alone. Not so any more. A glut of federal and state regulations have come into being, many just over the past few years, and many apply to small businesses. These regulations are meant to accomplish any one of several social goods, such as protecting an individual's privacy and preventing identity theft, preventing corporate financial scandals, or lastly, or so it would seem, just to annoy small businesspeople by increasing their paperwork burden. Fortunately, if you understand these regulations, complying doesn't have to be too difficult or expensive.

If you have a publicly-held company, you'll have to comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which sets technological standards and reporting requirements for how companies handle their financial reporting. Passed in response to the recent wave of corporate scandals, fiscal mismanagement and outright theft, Sarbanes-Oxley puts in place a set of requirements for establishing internal controls that ensure the integrity of a company's financial data. Although the requirements are generally the same for companies of all sizes, smaller companies have been granted some flexibility in terms of longer timeframes to become compliant. This Act calls for, among other things, security-related solutions to be put into place to regulate access to financial data, provide an audit trail, and generate detailed reports for the government. The good news is, if you already follow best practices in security, you're already more than halfway there.

If you are in the healthcare industry, whether you are a healthcare provider, pharmacy, or a data processing agency serving the healthcare industry, you'll have to comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). HIPAA calls for any company that handles private patient data to guarantee that it is secure and protected against unauthorized access. If your company handles healthcare information of any sort, for any reason, you will have to take technological steps to ensure that it is secure through measures such as encryption, strong two-factor authentication, and adequate firewalling.

And if you're in California, or if any of your customers are in California, you'll have to comply with SB 1386 (the California Information Practice Act). This law requires that your company provide notice to customers whenever any technological hack, or other attack has occurred and caused personal information to be exposed and vulnerable to theft. Meant to safeguard against identity theft, this state law also applies to any subcontractors of companies that maintain information about California residents. This particular law is ground-breaking, since although it is on paper just a California law, it has, in reality, become a federal law. California is the largest state, population-wise, in the U.S., and any mid-size company and many smaller ones have at least a few customers in California, regardless of where the company is actually located. If, for example, your company is in Maine, but your mail order division sold some products to someone in California, you must comply. Compliance simply means that if your network is attacked, you must notify your customers. Although this can be done individually, most companies actually make notification on their Web sites, or through issuing a public press release.

The Visa Cardholder Information Security Program (CISP) isn't a state or federal law, but a mandate from VISA USA created to protect cardholder data. It calls on all vendors who accept credit card payments to adhere to a higher standard of information security for the purpose of guarding against identity theft. CISP calls on vendors to implement standard security measures such as firewalls, anti-virus software, and strong authentication to regulate who has access to customer credit card data. Visa also has set forth a set of best practices. Compliance is easy, and involves adhering to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard which includes a call for implementing standard security technology, restricting access, and encrypting the transmission of any cardholder data.

New Vending Machines – Where And How To Buy Them

When you purchase new vending machines, you are getting the latest models with all the bells and whistles that make them attractive to customers. However, you do have to look for the cheapest prices so that you can save as much money as possible in the investment of getting started in the vending machine business. This is one of the businesses that is easy to get started with and you can determine the type and number of vending machines you do want to start with. For example, you can start with a gumball vending machine or one that sells sandwiches or other food. A simple online search will give you the names of the distributors that sell new vending machines.

You won’t realize how easy it is to start a new vending machine business until you start doing the research. You don’t need any business experience and you can determine the size of your business. The locations you choose will determine the types of new vending machines that you want to buy. For example, sandwich vending machines work well in places where there is lots of traffic, but you also have to look at how close these locations are to the nearest restaurant. Food service vending machines work really well in hotels, bus stations, airports, and office buildings, but you would rarely see them in shopping malls.

When you start a new vending machine business, you can start earning money the very first day. A new vending machine selling a unique product, especially something that attracts children, is always a big hit. You realize an immediate cash flow from sandwich vending machines, but you do have to check these machines on a regular basis to ensure that your sandwiches are always fresh. Food service vending machines can sell any type of food, such as fresh fruit, chocolate bars, potato chips or even yogurt. You might choose to sell frozen food from the vending machine that the customer has to heat up in the microwave.

To start a new vending machine business, you can first check out all the distributors of new vending machines in your area. You can also purchase the sandwich vending machines or other food service vending machines from distributors farther away from you, but the shipping costs may be high. Once you decide on the vending machines you want to start with, you also have to look for suppliers of the bulk products and you have to start looking for the most lucrative locations.

New vending machines tend to give you an edge over older machines when you start a new vending machine business. Business owners are more likely to want to partner with you in allowing you to place your sandwich vending machines or other machines in their store when they know the machines are new. This means they won’t have complaints from customers about the machine not dispensing the products or with coins getting stuck due to worn out parts. When you buy new vending machines you also need to check that the machines have been tested and you should try them out yourself. They need to be easy for the customers to use.

No 1 Wedding Dresses

Wedding dress, a part of every wedding ceremony that rarely can get neglected. The bride needs to look like the most beautiful lady on that occasion and the groom the most hunky male all around, and the couple the best looking couple their. And the most perfectly crafted dress will be bringing the desired look for them on the occasion. So while selecting the wedding dress you need to have a look at some of the most important things those are related to make the wedding dress the most perfect dress crafted for the couple. And if you are going to select the dress from an online store some more components are needed to be looked for as compared to selecting the dress from a dress maker. We are giving you a short list of components those you need to have a look before selecting the bridal wear.

The first and foremost thing in the list of things you should look for is the season of the year you are going to tie your knot. You have to select a different cloth for the summer and a different cloth for the spring or winter. As the material and the colour of the dress greatly depends on the time. In spring and winter one will be looking quite comfortable with a dark patterned dress while in the summer most of the people feel quite easy with a light colour dress. While selecting the colour of the dress another thing that is most important to look out for is the skin texture of the bride or groom who is going to wear the wedding the dress. The colour should match perfectly with the skin texture of the person going to wear the dress. Apart from the main wedding gown the complete wedding dress has some add-on components and without those the dress feels incomplete like head piece, veil and glove. So you need to have a look on the texture and colour of the accessories as those should perfectly match with the gown. Another important thing that can be taken care for is the size of the wedding dress. Don’t adjust with the size; go for the exact and perfect piece. As little adjustment in case of formal dress is manageable but it does not look nice when it’s a wedding dress.

If you are selecting a wedding dress from an online store then make sure that the store is delivering the same item as displayed on the web site. If you don’t have so much time to make research on the wedding dress then the best option for you is log on to china-stylish. Take a look at the variety of wedding dresses so that you can come to a conclusion that what you need for the ultimate dressing. One thing that differentiates us from other online seller is that we deliver the exact thing those are being displayed on our site. Which ultimately reduces your stress that you are getting the dress of the exact details that is being displayed. So your most desired wedding dress is now just a click away.

No budget for PR? Do it yourself with the help of technology!

Not so long ago, small businesses and non-profit organizations across the board were faced with a tough question: do we need a Web site? We know the answer to that as the majority of small businesses and non-profits offer effective sites that not only provide information but can sell products, accept online donations, and raise awareness.

The new question facing them now is: Do we need to hire a PR agency?

Unfortunately, though many small businesses and organizations would like to retain a PR firm, the cost just doesn’t fit into the budget. Well, that doesn’t have to be the case. Small businesses and non-profits can manage their own media relations with the help of a few tools of the trade.

Online Press Kits: Everything a business or organization’s press kit contains can be published and distributed on the Internet with online press kits. Now, an online press kit is not a Web site. Don’t be confused by the term “online.” Though an online press kit can be displayed online and present information like a Web site, it is really a virtual folder or briefcase that allows an organization to upload and store press materials on the Internet.

Once in an online press kit folder, these documents and images can be distributed as links – not attachments to e-mails. Most e-mails with attachments never reach their designated recipient in the media due to firewalls and anti-virus protection services. With an online press kit, documents are added as links within the message.

An online press kit can be linked directly to a Web site so that when the media visits in search of news and background information, they’ll know exactly where to go. Changes and edits can be made instantly, preventing outdated or incorrect information from being distributed. Plus, some online press kit services are so simple to use and manage; an organization won’t need to hire an “IT guy,” another budget-friendly feature.

Online press kit services vary greatly in terms of price and features. Take some time to research your options and identify your needs before committing to one service over another. Some services include features you probably will never use (but pay for), while others may not provide enough services, such as training or support.

Web-based Media Lead Services – One of the greatest benefits of the Internet is the ability to rapidly obtain information. What used to require a hard copy media guide or CD is now available from a number of providers online. An organization can reach virtually hundreds of thousands of media contacts with one click by listing spokespeople as experts, offering timely quotes on current events, or responding to the hundreds of media leads that come in daily from journalists on deadline. There are many providers out there that vary in cost and quality. It is worth the time and effort to do some research on which service is best for your budget and your needs. Some services are even free. Services that are used by the most media professionals will likely cost more than ones with lower membership.

Web-based Media Databases – Your business or organization has hot news and you want to let every daily newspaper in the country know about it. First, you must visit each paper’s Web site individually, record their contact information, compile a list and then blast that news out there. However, by the time you did that, your news would be at least a month old. Ouch.

Media databases to the rescue. There are many services available online that provide up-to-date media lists from every medium and market you can imagine. Most require a membership or subscription fee, but it is well worth the money if the alternative is to compile a list manually. Services of this type include BurrellesLuce Media Contacts program (www.BurrellesLuce.com), Bacon’s (www.Bacons.com), and Contacts on Tap (www.ContactsOnTap.Com).

Press Release Distribution Services – Got a press release that the world needs to see? You could compile the list as we mentioned above (the hard way), or use a media database – but you could also leave it to the experts and submit your release to a distribution service, or “wire.” There are many services available at various costs. One service is PR Web (www.PRWeb.com) which not only can run your release for free (limited distribution), but allows you to specify Internet search terms, making the release easily accessible to Web users.

The media savvy and expertise of media relations professionals is worth the money, but when the money just isn’t there, small businesses and non-profit organizations can tap the talent they have within and combine it with technology designed to make communication easier.

If you need some help developing your press documents, take a look at the press kits of other businesses or organizations in your area. There are also many Internet resources available that can provide tips to writing your own press releases and news announcements.

Managing media relations in-house is not impossible and can be a fantastic way to reach the media as a small business or organization grows.

No Cost Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses

Many small businesses are run from people’s home computers and fall under the radar of business statistics. Whether you are working for a multi-level marketing company or selling painted bird houses the difficulty of advertising your products without a budget is overwhelming. Let us face the fact that $20 a month spent on classified advertisement isn’t going to bring in a flood of visitors. A home-based business cannot compete with their larger counterparts. That is why in many cases owners are expected to tap into their personal relationships to make sales.

Like many of you I run a small home based business and have learned through trial and error what works and what doesn’t. Despite putting some “notches in my belt” I have never stopped learning. In the beginning, many years ago, I wasted money paying for different types of advertisements. None of them worked well. Now my budget is nearly $0 and I receive thousands of visitors a year. How did I do this?

Strategy #1 Email: Instead of paying for lists and possibly getting in trouble for spamming I send businesses a very personalized email message. How do I find these businesses? I find them by looking on the web, going to their homepage, reading a little about them, and then sending them a personalized email about my product. The key is personalization. Write a basic sales letter which highlights your product, offers contact information and how it can impact a particular type of business. Since I run a magazine which survives off of advertising revenue I have developed sample letters for the clothing industry, auto industry, legal industry, etc. I then place their information within the letter so that when they read it they say, “Wow! This guy knows what is important to me!”

Strategy #2 Information: Search engines and customers love informative articles. We have all heard the saying, “knowledge is power”. Customers want to learn about their business as much as possible. Posting informative articles on your web page will help visitors keep returning for additional information and hold them there longer. Information also increases your credibility as a business to the potential customer. If they agree with what you are saying they are more likely to purchase from you. Search engines, like customers, are constantly searching with their spiders for content related information. If your articles are about the product you are selling chances are that search engines will rank your site higher.

Strategy #3 Business Cards: Off-line marketing has never gone out of style. It may even be more necessary today than it was in yesteryear. There are plenty of printers out there that offer free business cards in exchange for a placement of their contact information on the back of the cards. In most cases the printer’s information is small and unnoticeable making the free deal a good deal! Therefore I get my cards for only the cost of shipping and handling.

What you do with these cards is almost as important as how much you spend on them. People are interested in the self and love to talk about themselves as much as possible. Generally, I pass out the cards under the auspices that I would like to further a particular conversation or I would like to keep in touch with them. It is a great way to get their card in your hand and make a good friend. Now they have a personal relationship with me, are much more likely to look at my site and I can catalogue their information for networking purposes.

Strategy #4 Ezine Articles: Like I said in strategy #2 people love free information. Those same articles I placed on my website for my current customers can also be used to lure new customers. By making sure that you articles are informative, professional and worthy you can submit those to article databases for free content. Then websites pick up the article to post on their own site. The trick is to have your personal contact information either embedded into the article or as a tag line on the end. Personally I use my web address and my name. The better your article the more times it is posted around the web and the more customers you will get.

The four strategies work together to enhance the popularity of a website and reduce the amount of time you waste everyday. Writing informative articles about your product and submitting them to ezine directories helps to improve your sites search engine rankings, retain your customers and increase overall exposure. Passing out business cards and networking with other owners works well together and kills two birds with one stone. Sending out personalize emails and reading about your customers site helps to increase your understanding of your customers needs while advertising to them. The overall strategy of business is to make more money and spend less time and resources doing it.

Offering outsourcing bookkeeping services must be perfect to be successful

In a changing world, with globalization, technological advances and a continual revalidation of methods of doing business, business owners have choices when it comes to managing time and business. Business needs to maintain their financial and accounting record as this helps it in the long run. The business is workings then it means that the financial and accounting status of the firm is properly managed. A detailed representation of the business accounting functions is conscientiously done by the professional accountants of the outsourcing firm. Hence it is understood that any business will be spending a significant resource in hiring and maintaining this division.

Bookkeeping is an essential business tool for any size of company to help them record all the financial transaction. Bookkeeping could be server based. If the client does require that his accounts books be maintained in his own computer, the outsourcing bookkeeping connects to the client's computer through the internet. This is done with the use of remote desktop access services. Outsourcing Business without e-communication is it possible! Here Outsourcing bookkeeping Services has try to explain something about e-accounting services. Bookkeeping outsourcing handled by a seller in other country would help the business in saving a significant amount in terms of human and financial source. Some of these methods are data entry bookkeeping, single entry bookkeeping, commercial bookkeeping, one-write systems, computerized systems the most commonly used method of bookkeeping.

Normal bookkeeping with details concerning transactions, turn over, and profit and loss generations helps business owners a great deal in getting loans from different public and private financial sources. Accounting data entry, payroll preparation, cash flow, bank and credit card reconciliation, trial balance, accounts payable management and other bookkeeping tasks which need updates every month can be reorganized and restructured in few very easy steps. There are two types of Bookkeeping Services: on-site arrangement and off-site arrangement. Bookkeeping outsourcing is therefore a big help for financial institutions by not only making properly maintained and processed accounting data available at a short notice, but also enabling the business to employ the resources, thus made available, in other divisions as well.

Bookkeeping can be done manually or can be computerized, depending on the size of the business and transaction volumes. Bookkeeping Service providers’ solutions are modified to meet business requirements. A powerful combination of technology, people and processes can boost the business. Then the task of handling sensitive financial data and maintaining accounts can safely be handed over to a bookkeeping outsourcing firm. Outsource your bookkeeping today; and focus on those functions of their businesses that really matters for its growth.

Online Backup Services Provider: How to Choose Your Offsite Backup Vendor of Choice

This article outlines the final criteria of a methodology to determine the online backup services provider for offsite backup.

In my earlier article, we discussed a two-stage methodology to help you determine the online backup services provider for your offsite backup needs.

In that article, Stage 1 of the methodology - compiling a short list - was covered in detail.

Today, we will talk about Stage 2 where you will assess those on the short-list against the final set of criteria to determine the top rated vendor.

I have listed the final criteria in the order of importance.

1. Around-The-Clock Phone Support

Remember that data recovery is not an activity that is done frequently.

Yet, when the need arises and especially when an entire server is down, the recovery has to be done correctly and quickly to minimise downtime.

This is best done by having the online backup services provider guiding you over the phone (or at the minimum using live chat) while the data restoration is being carried out.

Having a single number to call makes it easier for you to remember instead of calling separate numbers depending on the day or time.

2. Enhanced Restore Feature

The downtime can be reduced further if you can find an offsite backup services provider that provides enhanced recovery capabilities for restoration to be completed quicker.

3. Optimised Backup Feature

Scheduled backups happen regularly and if not optimised can drain your resources in terms of time and storage requirements.

You will therefore want to check whether there are additional capabilities that can reduce the amount of offsite data storage and backup time.

4. Service Provider Redundancy

Do make sure that your vendor has incorporated redundancy in its data centre premises. Redundancy should include servers, power, internet connection / bandwidth etc.

In addition to redundancy at the premise, you will find a few leading services providers even have mirrored data centres. And each of these mirrored data centres has its own set of redundant facilities. To be most secured, these mirrored data centres should be as far apart as possible.

5. Easy To Use Online Resources

This serves as a very useful source of reference to help you get things done quicker without the need of calling the vendor's support centre. Also, with easy-to-use online resources, you may even learn to carry out data restorations by yourself, expediting matters when you need most!

By evaluating the short-listed vendors against this final set of criteria, you will be able to determine the online backup services provider that can meet your business offsite backup needs.

Options for Setting Up An Intranet

The traditional approach to implementing an intranet is to purchase a software package, modify it for your needs, and install it on your system.

Over the past few years, another option has grown in popularity – the implementation of a web-based solution.

As you consider the choice between installed software and a web-based intranet, here are some considerations:

To assure broad-based participation, the intranet must be easy to implement, simple to use, cost-effective to maintain, and offer each individual user the power to post, access and use content in a way that serves their specific needs. In short, the intranet must have value to everyone.

Web-based intranets are designed around this concept. The interface and navigation are consistent with their use of the web – an environment in which they feel in control, using familiar tools.

In contrast, the business world is littered with countless elegant and feature-rich soft-ware based intranets that have failed. Why? Because they represented an alien environment into which the user was expected to venture. Few employees had the time or the interest (or courage) to enter, rendering the intranet impotent, with the powerful tools unused.

This is the plight of traditional, out-of-the-box software solutions. Unlike web-based intranets, they force users into a constrained environment requiring in-depth training, built around rules designed for the group, rather than the individual.

Software based solutions require extensive internal support. The ongoing expense in both staff time and money takes the focus of your IT group away from mission-critical tasks.

System integration, Implementation, maintenance, technology upgrades, training and user support are all on-going tasks that represent a significant, recurring investment. The cost can be substantial, far exceeding your initial license cost and monthly fee.

Most web-based solutions offer a fixed monthly fee that covers all maintenance, technology upgrades, training and user support. The costs are predictable, the technology evolutionary, and it's all done with minimal involvement of your IT staff.

It's for these reasons that companies needing broad-based participation in a changing environment are choosing web-based intranets over traditional software solutions.

Outsource – CPAs’ big decision for tax season

Outsourcing has been maligned for political reasons. The tremendous benefits of outsourcing to all, have been lost among the debates related to its so-called damage to the nation’s economy. Outsourcing has suffered because of its close association, in today’s world of internet, to offshoring. However, outsourcing has been a normal business practice for a long-time in the U.S. and has been the major contributor to the growth of many business organizations.

Outsourcing has been used very frequently in the manufacturing industry for a long time very successfully. Manufacturers have been able to reduce their overall costs, improve manufacturing processes, improve product quality and grow their business with the help of outsourcing. Even in the service sector, outsourcing has been used quite well for many years. Even in the 1980s CPA firms would hire tax filing firms to enter data into tax software and provide tax return printouts to reduce the load on the firm staff. With the arrival of tax software that could be used by accountants in their own offices to prepare tax returns, somehow a trend of bringing back all work in house took hold. For the last few years, small and medium-sized CPA firms have developed a habit of handling all the work in-house and taking pride in it. This trend, that took hold in the last few years, and the negative publicity associated with outsourcing is to the disadvantage of the accounting industry.

Outsourcing is a fact of life in the 21st century. From our domestic lives to every aspects of our professional lives, we outsource. In this age of specialization, it is extremely crucial for the accounting industry to pay attention to the benefits of outsourcing and catch up with it as soon as possible. There are some very definite benefits in outsourcing, for CPAs.

CPAs who own and manage small or medium-sized practices spend a tremendous amount of time manage their practices, including staff management, work flow management, and handling usual problems associated with managing a small business. However, the actual strength of CPAs is in their ability to decipher tax laws and advice and help their clients optimize their tax situations. They also have a strong understanding of the issues related to efficient financial management of businesses and personal financial management. They can help with business valuation and help clients develop systems and procedures for effective management of their businesses. All of these services require CPAs to have the time to continuously develop professionally to stay current with the new developments in each of those fields. They also need to have the time to dedicate to their clients in these areas. If they are too busy managing their practices, supervising their staff’s work, entering data into tax software and compiling tax returns, then they are too busy doing the work that could be easily done by someone else, under their supervision. They get themselves too busy competing with the “other” tax preparation services, franchised or independently owned, and do not get the time to provide the much-needed high-value services to their clients.

Outsourcing their tax and regular accounting work provides a great opportunity to CPAs to release themselves to provide high-value services to their clients. Many clients get an opportunity only once in a year to interact in detail with their CPA at tax time. Many CPAs lose this opportunity as they are too busy with the “tax season” and don’t have the time to look at anything else. That is surely a lost opportunity, year after year. If CPAs organize their time, during tax season, in such a way that they get to interact with their clients and look at their matters in detail, they could grow their business significantly. Clients like CPAs who take interest in their matters and provide personal attention to them. Most clients, that are of value to your practice, do not mind paying for such premium services.

Tax season this year offers an opportunity, once again, to CPAs to consider outsourcing some of their tax return work. By doing so they could have some extra time to provide higher-value services to their clients and differentiate their practice from the other tax preparation services. It is now time for CPAs to differentiate themselves from the regular bookkeeping and tax preparation services and outsourcing provides a great opportunity for them to do so this tax season.

Outsourcing Without Upsetting Lou Dobbs

I don’t know how many times I’ve flipped through the channels and heard Lou Dobbs talking about “Exporting America.” Now, I know Lou is discussing the political and economic context of American companies outsourcing their jobs overseas. However, this new one-dimensional definition of outsourcing has other implications to some of us in the States.

I am no expert on politics, economics or Lou Dobbs, so I’ll keep my opinions on those subjects to myself. However, what I would like to discuss is the negative connotation that the word “outsourcing” has taken on in this country.

There are thousands upon thousands of small businesses in this country whose sole survival depends on other companies outsourcing their needs. Just think about it for a moment. How many companies in the service industries only exist to support the needs of other businesses?

Imagine if every company had to act as a fully self-sufficient corporation. They must handle all of their own HR issues…no more employment agencies, payroll companies, etc. They must employ a full-fledged IT department to handle all of their own web design, networking, software and database designs. Each enterprise has to have enough administrative assistants, data entry specialists, desktop publishing experts, marketing gurus. The list is endless.

If American companies were to completely eliminate all forms of outsourcing, life as we know it would end!

Now, we all know that this is not what Lou or anybody else who has defined outsourcing as one of the most popular buzz words of the last few years is talking about. I understand that most people know that the business to business outsourcing within America is not a bad thing. Nonetheless, it seems strange to me that one word can take on such a life of its own. It’s really not a new phenomenon, yet it is the first time that I’ve encountered one of these controversial terms in my own ventures.

Let me say that as a business person in a field that is solely based on other businesses looking to my company to meet their needs, I find myself quite often searching for synonyms to outsourcing. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, but when I’m advertising, I’m forever brainstorming for words to replace that one that starts with o and ends with source! After all the talk that’s been spinning around Washington and the rest of the country, it seems that it’s turned into a dirty word.

Obviously, most people understand that there are all types of outsourcing. On the other hand, when you’ve got limited time and space are you going to choose a “hot button” word to describe what you’re selling?

Overcome Writer's Block to Create New Articles Faster

Small business owners would do well to consider writing an article a week about the solutions offered when clients do business with you. These may be published at no cost by online article syndicates, and each will have a link back to your website. Having outside links TO your site is one of the keys to improving search engine ranking.

Important: Write from a neutral point of view. You are not selling your product or service; you are selling your reputation as an expert. Do not include any pricing or offers. Write as if you were explaining something to your neighbor or someone who would never ever become your customer.

Years ago I had cartoons published in various business newsletters, and sometimes the tough part was coming up with ideas. I developed a system that worked beautifully. Instead of taking 8 hours to come up with a humorous situation and then 4 hours to draw the cartoon, I was able to get several concepts in 10 minutes, and do 2-3 cartoons in 8 hours total. Here's my system with a twist for article writing, and it works.


Do this exercise and fill in the blanks. You know _____ when _____. The first blank is a problem and the second blank is the reason or result of the problem. It's easy to come up with an idea-a-minute instead of spending late nights in tears with writer's block. Do half a dozen and then pick the best one to write your article.

You know your customers will go away when you forget to say thank you.


Next, for the outline of the article, I use a 3-step rough layout that takes the reader to the happy ending in a logical order. The skeleton can be simple phrases without complete sentences and just enough to keep your thought process on track as you work through the article.

Situation (one liner from fill in the blanks above)
Action (solution to solving the problem)
Results (describe the outcome and include stats if appropriate)


Articles need to be 500-1500 words to meet minimum requirements for article directories, so you can submit them there. I went from 150 sites linked to me in Google to 650 in less than 3 weeks. That's awesome results just writing an article a week. In NotePad 500 words is at least a full screen page and a half, so 2 full screens would be best to get closer to 750-1000 words.

Make sure to grab the reader's attention in the first line and paragraph with a "hook" (problem) that they may have experienced.

Take the one liner and expand on it to explain what could happen and why.

State the solution with action words to describe your advice to the reader.

This is really the conclusion, or outcome. People love statistics, so if you can add numbers or percentages as examples of how your advice helped someone else, all the better.

Once you have the article written, leave it for a day, and return to see if it still reads well. Before submitting to directories, you need to create a title, introduction, resource box, and list of keywords. For the title, use action words to excite the reader, and keep it short. For the intro, select a line or two from the article that will increase interest. Your resource box is the equivalent of "About the Author" and should include your company, web address, and general description of what you do.

Finally, to get published, search Google for "article directories" and you will find 1000's that will consider your articles. Submit one article a week to each of 50-100 directories, and watch your search engine ranking improve.

Overview of Accounting and Accountants

Accounting is a very important part of a business. As an entrepreneur, you either do it yourself or get someone else to do it for you. I have included this article for freelancers to have a very broad outline of the accounting profession. With this you can at least appreciate the discipline as well as its role in your business. As your business grows, the distinctions between the different types of accounting will become increasingly important.

When you are first starting, the only form of accounting you'll ever meet would probably be record-keeping and bookkeeping. This is the part where you record the sales you've received and the expenses you have made using receipts, invoices, cheques and other transactions source documents.

Firstly, what is accounting?

For most people, accounting does not concern them because they think of it as a laborious activity performed by people who are 'good with numbers'. Accounting is often confused with the narrow concepts of record-keeping and bookkeeping.

Accounting of course is much broader than that. "Accounting is the system that measures business activities, processes that information into reports and communicates these findings to decision-makers". The accounting system produces financial statements that report on an individual's or an organization's business in monetary amounts.

Who Uses Accounting Information?

1. Individuals, 2. Businesses, 3. Investors and Creditors, 4. Government Agencies, 5. Taxing Authorities, 6. Non-Profit Organizations and 7. Other Users including employees, consumer groups, labour unions and the general public.

The Types of Accountants and The Specialized Services Performed By Them:

1. Private accountants - These work for single organizations. They may perform cost accounting, budgeting, information systems design, internal auditing, financial accounting and management accounting;

2. Public accountants - These serve the general public. They may perform specialized services such as auditing, tax accounting and management consulting.

For small business owners, the areas that would occupy most of your time is financial and management accounting. Financial accounting provides information to people outside the business including creditors and the government for tax purposes. Management accounting generates information for you, the person who manages the operations of the business. This will produce how much you are spending on manufacturing your products or providing your services in a way that you can see where you are lacking and where your are doing well on.

Own A Small Business, Without Getting Too Involved

To a fault a lot of small business owners tend to get highly involved with their work, just to discover a long time down the road that they actually experienced no life in the least. It's so pitiful when person becomes much an big workaholic that they wind up losing out with special family time, getting out with friends and loving life. It encounters far too often, and then a lot people had better learn and check what it acquires to have a small business, without becoming too excessively caught up in it. If you become too bound up with matters, chances are you'll get very cranky, fidgety, moody, beat, down and several added things could go wrong with you as well, still personal things could begin failing at home, inside your family. Paying attention to your actions and viewing that on that point their could be a trouble with you remaining away from home so much, had better be a priority to you. Whenever you have a small business and it's well established already, feeling free to take off every now and then can be great.
In reality, you had better get yourself to take off occasionally and so that you'll be able to go and live your life, savour hanging out with friends and enjoying your amazing household that has truly missed having you about for so long. You will find it to be rather happy and once you do have to walk back into your small business, you are going to feel a great deal stronger, happier, less stressed and just overall have a vast feeling of achievement and great winner since you have at last found out how to supervise your time fittingly, as far as having your small business exits. Everybody that worries about you will love having you around a lot more often and you'll feel healthier than you have in a long time. Your employees will be real happy to see you coming in through the doorways cheerful, with a truly great and upbeat attitude. The total feeling in everyone's thoughts within your small business will be a good deal more positive, which means everyone affected inside your small business can be more productive as well, which is what makes for a real great and flourishing small business, that you recognize yourself is going to have a lot of impressive lasting powers.
Working in your small business can be rather enjoyable but neglecting those who love you because your getting to caught up with your work, can be damaging, there's no doubt about that. There is not sufficient profit in the world that would be deserving losing the ones that love you the most in life. It's not worth that, then if you experience you're too obsessed with your small business, possibly it's time for you to take one ample break from it all and begin learning how to live once again. Your life will be more gratifying, all aspect of it really will be, so you will have a good deal to be grateful for and many to look forward to.

Paperless Office - With Multiple Monitors

Going paperless in professional offices, such as those of CPAs, sometimes could become inconvenient for the professional to work. When a CPA is working on a client’s tax return and needs to refer to prior year return, it is easy for her to look at the paper printout while working on this year return on the computer. However, if her filing system is paperless it would be very inconvenient for her, sometimes, to switch between screens to take a look at the prior year return and come back to this year return – back and forth. This could even result in use of more paper than before if the CPA ends up printing a copy of the prior year return to refer during the return preparation and then destroying it. That would result in her printing almost all her clients’ prior year returns and then destroying them because she has an electronic copy of the return.

The technology available at this time makes it easy to avoid this problem. Over time it has become more and more easier for CPAs to go paperless as some of these inconveniences have been addressed by the available technology.

A small investment can help CPAs resolve this problem forever and would save them all the inconveniences related to it. Windows XP allows the use of multiple monitors with one computer. This feature is already there in the Windows XP. However, the user would need to buy a special video adapter to attach to the computer to connect multiple monitors. Multiple means up to 10 monitors can be attached to one computer. There are numerous benefits of this convenience in Windows XP.

If all your prior client documents are already in electronic format on your server and you need to refer to several of them at once to work on a particular project, you could open each of those on separate monitors connected to the same computer. This would eliminate the need to switch between different screens each time you need to look at another document.

The set up for connecting additional monitors to your Windows XP computer is not very complicated. If you use a notebook computer you can use the feature of Dualview which is also available in XP. You can just connect an external monitor to your notebook and set up your XP, from Control Panel, for Dualview. The limitation with Dualview is that your notebook or laptop monitor would always be the primary monitor. The other feature, that of multiple monitors, allows you to set any of the monitors as the primary monitor.

Once you set up your computer with multiple monitors, you can eliminate one of the major inconveniences that staff faces in a CPA offices, that of referring to multiple documents from the file and having to switch between screens while working. Even if you have already become comfortable switching between screens on one computer, you may still want to test out this feature of multiple monitors and you may be pleasantly surprised by the ease it brings to your life. The details on setting up multiple monitors are explained on the Microsoft website.

Paperless Office for CPA for under $1,000

Considering what CPAs are being asked to pay for pre-packaged paperless solutions for their offices, the title of this article is quite radical. Since the title and what is discussed here is based on actual experience of the author, it is alright for it to get some media attention.

Most CPA practices these days have a small office network in place to handle the operations of the business. Rather, it is almost impractical for them to be operating without some kind of a computer network in their offices. Most CPAs and accountants also efile their clients’ tax returns and so they need a reliable internet connection in their office. Unbeknownst to them, CPAs have over 90% of what they need to go paperless, at least on the hardware and the software side.

CPAs have almost all the hardware and software needed, in their office, to convert their practice into a paperless practice. Almost means close to 90%. However, they need to build up another asset to be able to go paperless in a very short time. The asset they need has to be built in house and cannot be purchased. They have to first recognize the extreme importance of the need to go paperless and then develop a strong determination to do so within a short time and limited budget.

Recognition of the importance of going paperless is the major hurdle facing the accounting industry at this time. Many CPAs are still waiting on the sidelines to watch how this trend evolves. Generally, that is not a very bad strategy. Not all trends become permanent in any industry and so a lot of times it is good to wait a little before getting on the bandwagon. However, paperless movement has been building momentum over a long period of time. In fact, it probably has been in discussions for over a decade. There have been some early adopters who benefited from it. It has not become a general trend yet in accounting industry, other professional services industry and business in general. But there are signs that it is picking up speed.

It is during the last few years that the capacity of the technology, that is being used in accounting offices, like other businesses, has increased tremendously at very affordable prices. Until a few years ago, going paperless in an accounting office was a major undertaking as it would require upgrading of hardware and software in a significant way. Now, there is no need to upgrade. If the hardware was purchased during the last 2-3 years, it probably has adequate capacity and speed to handle a paperless office without much upgrading.

In that case, a typical small CPA firm just needs to add a couple of scanners at $300 each and a PDF converter software that can be purchased for about a $100 these days. A strong commitment to go paperless and a determination to get it done within a given time frame is short in supply and is not available with any hardware or software vendor.

It is a very strange phenomenon. The technology is available and the need is there and yet most small CPA practices are not paperless, and one would hope that they are at least thinking about going paperless sometime soon. Why shouldn’t they go paperless if they could do it within a $1,000 of additional hardware and software?

Paperless Office for CPAs - Myth or Reality?

As a new CPA on the block, about eight years ago, I had made it a practice to read as much as possible on practice management along with the regular reading I had to do keep up with the technical matters. I came across articles after articles about how it was possible for CPAs to operate in an almost paperless office. It was, however, quite difficult for me to imagine my own office being a paperless office.

“How could a CPA really operate a practice without papers?” I would wonder all the time. I thought of these talks about paperless offices as being something of a creation of imagination about how life would be in 2035 when I may not be there.

The technology that I was using in my office was helping me improve the production. It was also helping me learn some of the more advanced possibilities in my system. In my small practice, it was a simple client-server network with a T1 internet connection. It was during one of my overseas trips about four years ago, that I discovered the power of my system to its best. With the T1 connection and a static IP address, I was able to work on my office system from over 10,000 miles away without any problems. This was a wonderful experience and my desire to learn more about the paperless office became extremely strong at this point.

I spent a lot of time, powered by my strong desire, to learn on the ways I could possibly convert my CPA practice into a paperless practice. I had already enjoyed the pleasure of working on my office system from around the world. I thought that if I could only access all the other papers I needed to look at while working on a client’s file I would not even need to be in the office at all to work. Besides enjoying the frustrations of continuous interruptions, accessing papers was the only remaining reason for me to be in the office. Sure there were other reasons, but to carry out my work for a client, accessing papers was the only one.

Now that my desire was so strong, I started running into various pre-packaged solutions advertised in the direct mail and magazine advertisements. I checked out a few, called a few 800 numbers and received some promotion materials. All turned out to be beyond my budget. I had learned a lot about the potentials of my simple office network by now, and figured out that I was too poor to afford some of the good pre-packaged solutions available out there for CPAs.

Upon a thorough study of the technology in my office and the hardware available in the market at affordable costs, I came to an unbelievable conclusion. It was unbelievable because based on my calculations the cost of converting to a paperless office was going to be 5 or 10% of what it would cost me to go with a pre-packaged solution. This happened within one year of my trip overseas and it has been three years since then. I could not believe it but I had a gut feeling that I was right in my conclusion. I considered the cost of failing in an attempt to go paperless not too high. I was already managing a paper-full practice and if an attempt to go paperless were to fail – I would remain where I was – a paper-full practice.

I spent a considerable amount of time developing the detailed plans on the whole process of going paperless, ordered the scanner that I had studied and found to be most affordable and launched the project. In terms of managing the staff time to work on the conversion process and managing priorities it was quite challenging. The process itself was quite enjoyable and revealing (about the hidden treasures in my filing cabinets) but above all quite enriching.

At the conclusion of my project to go paperless, about 60 days from when it started, I discovered that it was truly possible to manage an almost paperless office. I enjoyed more than two years of paperless office at my practice. The efficiency of the office went up significantly during that period. Clients experienced a different, a much higher level, of efficiency in service.

There were certain things that went right for me in this process. I was able to develop my understanding in this area over the years due to my curiosity and had a good handle over the capacity of my seemingly small office network. I discovered that the current office networks, in many small CPA offices, are like human brains. They are highly powerful and highly underutilized.

A paperless CPA office is no more a thing of the future. The true beneficiaries of this move by CPAs are their clients. CPAs who do not have to spend a lot of their time pushing papers and locating lost documents, would definitely be able to provide high-level services to their clients and benefit them more. All clients deserve a CPA who is at least paperless at the basic level, which is completely possible with a small office computer network and a very small investment.

Parking Lots Can Be Hazardous

Parking lots seem quite harmless, but they do pose a risk. Besides moving traffic and the occasional fender bender, parking lots pose two major hazards. One being trips and falls and the other is violence.

The perfect parking lot would be smooth and flat; no parking lot is perfect. Even a surface with just a half inch difference can pose a trip hazard. Twisted ankles or loss of balance will lead to falls and other painful mishaps.

Heavy use by both pedestrians and vehicle traffic both cause a parking surface to deteriorate. Leaks and spills of engine oil or antifreeze, which commonly occur wherever cars are parked cause broken pavement and gratings and can further add to risks of slips and falls.
In outdoor parking lots, severe weather conditions additionally aggravate even slight damage to the parking surface. As a consequence the risk for falls due to slips and trips is relatively high in this environment.

Speed bumps and tire stops are usually not necessary in a well-designed parking lot. Besides potentially causing damage to vehicles, they create a yet another hazard for tripping. The layout of the parking area should make it impossible to drive unsafely or fast; speed bumps or tire stops might be necessary.
Tire stops the end of some parking spaces are serious tripping hazards particularly when parking slots are occupied. When tire stops are present, they should no wider than the width of the vehicle and they should be marked with a contrasting color. Special attention should be paid to their regular maintenance because they deteriorate faster than other elements of the parking area.
Falls can be prevented by having good lighting, good housekeeping, good quality walking surface in the parking area, appropriate walking pace, paying attention to where you are going, and having a selection of proper footwear.
Keep the lot tidy by cleaning all spills and oily spots immediately, marking oily or icy spots and wet areas, clearing ice or snow as soon as possible, and removing clutter, debris and any obstacles from walkways.
Safety is everybody's duty, so workers as much as employers should clean or report spills right away, clear away clutter and debris, if they can, report hazardous conditions to their supervisors, and remain aware that falls can happen anywhere and anytime.
The second risk in parking lots is violence. Depending on the parking lot’s location, design and the time of day, parking lots can present a risk violence. The good news is that there are some basic safety principles that you can use to help keep you safer when traveling to and from your car.
When parking your car, park near the building in a highly visible and well-lit area. If there is a parking attendant park near them or near the stairs or a well-lit exit in an underground lot. Use a main building entrance and avoid the rear or secluded doors. If you have been shopping, keep your valuables and recent purchases out of sight or locked in the trunk. Lock the doors and roll up windows once you are in the vehicle.
When you park look around the surroundings and make a plan for where you can go for safety and how to call for help. Always try to walk with a friend, co-worker, or a security officer. Give them a ride back to the main entrance so they do not have to walk back alone.
If you must walk alone have a co-worker watch you from a window. Wave to them on the way to your vehicle; this will let anyone in the parking lot know someone is watching you. Even if no one is watching from the window, wave anyway; this will give the illusion that someone is watching you.
Stay on well-lit streets and in the center of the sidewalk. Stay away from hiding spots such as bushes, doorways, alleys and parked cars. Cross the road if you feel uneasy. Always be alert to your surroundings. Walk with confidence. Keep your head up and look around. Look directly at people but do not stare at them. Trust your instincts when you feel something is not right.
Be prepared when you leave your business, or when you leave the car for work. Have your keys ready when you leave the building. Carry a whistle or other personal alarm. Weapons such as pepper spray can be taken away from you and used against you. Your keys can be used as a surprise weapon.

As you approach your car, look around and under it. Check the inside for anyone also. If anything looks strange and you have an uneasy feeling, walk away and call someone for help.

When in a parking lot, be aware of your surroundings for potential risks from the parking surface to anyone that might harm you. Take these simple precautions and you will be safe.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Table Tennis Training

Part of the curriculum of most schools in the United States is physical education. This could basketball, football or tennis and also the game of table tennis. The faculty in charge will teach the basics and then the student can take it from there. Those who have talent may even tryout for the varsity team to bring glory to the school.

Those who have played this game before will surely have an advantage over inexperienced players. But with practice, a newbie can be just as good with the proper training.

Some people think that the game of table tennis is simply hitting the ball with the paddle but there is more to it than that. It involves hand to eye coordination and fast reflexes given that the ball can travel to speeds up to more than 90 miles per hour.

Part of training involves reading up on the sport. This is because the sport has rules that players have to follow. Someone who is knowledgeable will surely cream those who don’t know anything.

There is not enough time to learn everything there is to know about table tennis in PE class given that this only lasts an hour. Those who are serious should get help from someone after school like those offered in the youth center.

No one can play the game without the proper equipment. This means the student should buy a paddle. This is available in sporting goods store or online. In fact, the cheapest out there will only cost $20.

The first thing that will be taught is how to hold the paddle. There are two ways of doing this but normally, Americans use the handshake grip.

Since this is easy to learn, the instructor can now move on to other things such as how to serve, block and drive. Before hitting a few balls, an important part of training is doing some drills. This is because the game is all about technique and being consistent means fewer mistakes will happen.

When the instructor sees that the person is ready, this is the time that a mock game will be done. This could be someone else who is learning the sport or someone experienced. If no one is available, the instructor will be the one to do it.

Training with someone knowledgeable usually takes an hour and a half to two hours daily. Those who want to keep in shape can even practice at home on weekends by using an ordinary table and pushing this toward the wall. The other alternative will be to play with someone who also knows how to play the game.

As part of the training, the player should never forget to stretch, warm up and cool down. This will get the muscles ready for practice and during competition.

In a month or two, there might be a competition in school. This is where the student will see if all the training paid off.

The player should not feel bad for losing in the first match. The individual should also not gloat over the victory because there are still other players out there who are much better.

Whatever happens, this should simply be taken as a lesson so that errors that were committed can be corrected to achieve a better performance in the next match.

Table Tennis Training – Pushing Yourself Further In The Amazing Game Of Ping Pong

Ping pong is a fun and exciting game, and best of all, it is fairly easy that practically anyone can play it. However, since table tennis is a breeze to play a lot of people do not see the need to get proper training for it. This is okay if you just want to have some fun hitting the ball once in a while, but if you really want to be good in the game, then you really have to take table tennis training.

A lot of people are hesitant to undergo table tennis training since it is somewhat unusual. Most people do not view it like swimming lessons that a lot of kids really go through. But like any sport, table tennis training follows a flow of discipline. Here are some things you need to consider when you plan to take table tennis lessons:

1. Frequency – the frequency of your table tennis training really depends on you – on what your goal is, how much you can commit, your urge to improve, your schedule, your budget, among many others. But generally, if you want to improve your game you should have at least one training session each week, and then another session to play as well. Lessons are useless if you do not practice what you learn. But playing too much can also be counter productive. You have to carefully study your schedule and spell out how much you can devote for your table tennis training. Stick with the schedule you have set to ensure that you would be getting the most from your training.

2. Duration of the training – how long you train is another consideration. It is usually recommended to train for just an hour to an hour and half like other kinds of sports. If you go longer than that, your concentration can suffer and you might even grow tired of the sport instead of loving it.

3. Training style – the type of lesson really depends on your level as a table tennis player. If you are a beginner, you should have a good foundation on the technique for hitting the table with the ball. This sounds to be too basic a task, but it is the very foundation of table tennis and a lot of amateur players miss out on this one. Table training should be mastered really well for other techniques to be learned. This level of training decreases the chances of your hitting the ball into other directions.

Once you are able to ground yourself with table training you can work on the next most important strokes for your training. These include the backhand counterhit, the forehand counterhit, the backhand push, the forehand push, the serve, and the serve return. Without these things you cannot expect to move to the next, intermediate, level of table tennis playing.

You can also include in your table tennis training some of the fun stuff – the tricks of the trade that make table tennis all the more exciting. This includes the lobbing, smashing, the forehand loop and the backhand loop. Soon enough you can mix these strokes up to give an impressive game.

4. Attitude – no matter how much training you take for how long and what kind, you would not succeed in table tennis if you do not have the attitude to follow through. Table tennis is very much a mental sport as it is a physical sport. You mind has to be very active as everything happens quickly, even quicker than in most other types of sports.

The attitude is also very much important during table tennis training. You have to focus on what you are training for at a certain time. You should set your mind to learn the strokes, that you are practicing. You should also pay attention to your trainer or your training partner. You might have to take turns feeding balls to each other and when it is your turn be good at it as you would hitting the ball. You can learn from all aspects of training if you put your mind to it.

Table tennis training may not really be that important for most people. But if you really want to be good in this game, it is something that is inevitable for you to go through.

Table Tennis Training: Improving Your Game Through Proper Training

In every kind of game, you need to practice in order to improve. Just like table tennis, you have to train in order to elevate your game and have the advantage over your opponents. Many people thinks that table tennis is a simple game to play that will only require them to get the ball to the other side of the table. This may be true but the true essence of playing table tennis is by making the right decision in a very fast manner.

As soon as your opponent serves or as soon as your opponent returns the ball to your side of the table, you have to think of a strategy quickly in order to use the right swing, and strategically place the ball accurately on your opponent's side of the table in order to work the ball to your advantage and let you prepare for a big finish.

Ball manipulation is a very important training in table tennis. You have to learn about the different swings involved in order to confuse your opponent and let them make a mistake by returning the ball to you with the wrong swing and provide you with a great drive.

In table tennis training, you will also learn how to recover from your mistakes. For example, if you offered a great ball to your opponent's advantage, you have to prepare for the inevitable, which is the drive. In table tennis training, you will be able to know how to prepare for a big drive by reading your opponent's swing. Depending on the position of their table tennis paddle and their body movements, you will be able to know what kind of swing they will be using against you. Through this, you will know if they are going to hit the ball with a spin, or if they are preparing to give you a powerful drive.

Low balls are also one of the difficult shots in table tennis. This kind of shot is where the ball dips and goes below the table. You have to know how you will be able to recover this seemingly impossible ball position as there are ways on how you can recover it and continue the game. With the proper table tennis training, you will be able to learn how to do this.

The service is considered to be one of the most important factors of the game. Usually, the service is the most advantageous position that you can ever be in. This is because you will be able to control the ball and also get your opponents to make a mistake early on in the game.

Basically, the most advantageous serves are serves that has spin in it in order to let your opponent reply with an easy ball that will help you reply with a more powerful swings, such as drives. Table tennis training will enable you to learn about the different kinds of serves, such as backspin serves, topspin serves and sidespin serves.

Ball manipulation helps a lot in table tennis. In your training, you will learn about how to manipulate the ball in order for your opponent to reply with mistakes that you can take advantage of.

So, if you want to improve your game in table tennis, try to get some training and work on the different strategies in order for you to have the advantage over your opponents and allow you to win more games.

Table Tennis Video Clips

Table tennis is a fast paced sport. Since the paddles and the balls are all lightweight, it is easy for players to make impressive moves.

There are two types of people who love this sport. There are fans that are impressed with the way some athletes perform while there are those who actively take part in the game.

The person can watch the game live if the tournament is in town. This can also be seen on television. When there is an unforgettable part in the match that impresses the viewer, perhaps this memory should be kept in time by getting a video.

Such things can be purchased from sporting goods store or online. This may come in VHS or DVD format that could have more than an hour of recording time.

The person will have a better chance of getting this from the web. This is because most recordings are uploaded into the Internet for future reference which is useful for those who would also like to learn from the best.

Some of these sites may not have that much or only offer video clips to the die-hard fan. This isn’t so bad especially when all the person wants is that scene or that match. But those who want more will just have to keep searching for other websites.

The table tennis video clip sometimes being shown is just a preview that could entice the customer to buy one DVD or the entire collection.

Those that are content with the video clip can just play it over and over again on the computer. It will be a good idea to check if the operating system and the video software is compatible. If it is not, this should be updated for it to open the file.

Since there are a lot of matches like the World Championships and the Olympics, it will be a good idea to increase the memory of the hard drive or simply burn old files into a CD.

The best way to still learn table tennis is by working with an instructor. This professional will be able to tell the beginner the in’s and outs of the game and check on one’s technique.

Is there one way of doing it that is better than others? The answer is no. The way to excel in this sport will still take hours of work. The use of video clips is simply one of the many things that can help anyone become a better player.

The best people to watch are those who are ranked in the top 5 in the world and it doesn’t matter what country this person came from. This individual should be credited for being one of the best in the sport and there is much to learn in terms of style and technique from this person.

After watching the video clip, the player can put what was seen into practice. This means doing the same thing through drills first then doing it in a mock game. It will also be a good idea to let someone observe if this is correctly being done by recording it so this can be reviewed later on.

This will surely give insight and guidance to those who dream about competing among the worlds’ best.

Table Tennis Video Clips: Instruction Video Clips That Can Help You Improve Your Table Tennis Game

Table tennis is one of the most popular sports in the world. This fast-paced game will practice your reflexes that will involve making fast decisions to be able to return the ball to your opponent properly and accurately. Most people think that table tennis an easy game to play. However, when you try playing the game yourself, you will see that you have to keep your eye on a high speed travelling ball in order for you to hit it with your table tennis racquet or paddle.

Table tennis is a highly addicting game where you will want to play more and more as you learn about the different swings and grips involved. So, how will you be able to learn how to play table tennis or improve your swings effectively and cheaply?

Thanks to the internet, you can now download instructional videos on how you can improve your skills in table tennis. Usually, there are different video clips available for different kinds of players. Some are for beginners who are just learning how to play the game, and some are for more advanced players.

In table tennis instructional video clips for beginners, you will usually see the different grips involved in playing the game. You will learn how to properly hold a table tennis paddle and how each grip can be advantageous in a game. The shake hands grip is by far one of the most popular grips that table tennis players use. It is simple, comfortable and is very flexible. Unlike the pen hold grip, which is very awkward, the shake hands grip is best suited for beginner players and even professional players consider using this grip because they are able to play their best games with it.

Other things included are the rules of the game.

In more advanced downloadable video clips, you will witness how to drive and how to serve with a spin and how to add spin to the ball to confuse the opponent with the direction it takes after landing on their side of the table. You will also be shown how to properly control the ball in order for you to accurately place it on the other side of the table to your advantage.

There are also instructional videos on how you can recover a falling ball, and how to deal with a drive. You will also learn how to properly deal with a topspin or under spin ball.

Table tennis is a fast paced game that just doesn’t require you to return the ball to the other side of the net. It is a game where you need to make a fast decision in order to have the advantage over your opponent. This is because making the right decision on how to deal with your opponent and knowing how to read your opponent's strategy will provide you with a better game.

So, if you want to improve your overall table tennis game or if you want to learn about the different kinds of services to manipulate the spin of the ball, you should try downloading instructional table tennis video clips on the internet. With practice you can expect winning more table tennis games and maybe win some championships with your new "A" game.